Daniela Becker

Daniela Becker
I am proud to see the students putting their knowledge into practice as an intern and thrilled to see where they end up in their careers!
Daniela Becker
Psychology: Behaviour Change
Current role
Assistant Professor

Daniela Becker is an Assistant Professor at Radboud University.

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Daniela Becker and I am originally from Germany. I followed the Bachelor's degree in Psychology in Wales, Cardiff to be exact. After a one-month internship in Amsterdam, I didn't want to leave there: I took a Research Master's at the UvA, focusing on social psychology. I also did my PhD there, on self-control in eating behaviour. 

During my PhD, I hardly ever taught, but now I have gotten the hang of it. For seven years I have been setting up and developing education and, of course, teaching. Within the Master's specialisation Behaviour Change, students know me from the courses Models of Behaviour Change and Psychology of Behaviour Change: Theories and Interventions. I am also involved in supervising internships and theses.

Why did you choose to study/work in this field? What makes this field so interesting?

I always found it interesting to explain behaviour. Why do people do certain things? Why don't do people certain things exactly? As a social psychologist, you look at how people influence each other, but my interest also lies in individual regulation.

What are you currently doing your own research on?

My research focuses on self-regulation, motivation and decision-making. Whereas before the focus was mainly on optimisation (how can you make 'the right' choice? For example eat healthy or exercise?), I am now looking specifically at feelings: what makes a choice fun? I find the pleasure aspect of decisions incredibly interesting. 

Within the Master's, there are also so-called peer groups. Here students support each other on a personal and professional level. Do they have tips on study-life balance? How can they help each other with their resume? My research shows that fun is super important. So in my study groups, students also set goals that focus on that. Studying comes with a lot of challenges, but it's definitely good to focus on fun things. The most successful students make good plans for their studies, but also find a good balance with their leisure activities. This is what I try to show and teach them as well: have fun!

What advice do you have for students choosing a Master's programme?

Only when there is friction is there learning and progress. Not everything has to be right the first time, for both student and teacher. 

What is the best part of being a lecturer?

As an Assistant Professor you have a teaching appointment as well as a research appointment. I enjoy both talking about research and doing research myself, so it's a good combination! In the Master's I teach a course in which I have loads of contact with the students. My experience is that students in the Behaviour Change Master's programme get the feeling that they can cope with the challenges. Another advantage of this Master's is the connection to the work field. During the internship, you learn a lot about the content, about yourself and about the field. Secretly, I am sometimes a little jealous of students for being allowed to do internships. It's very cool to learn from students and see what they all go through in practice. I am proud to see the students putting their knowledge into practice as an intern and thrilled to see where they end up in their careers!