Prof. R. Vonk (Roos)

Professor - Behavioural Science Institute
Professor - Social and Cultural Psychology

Prof. R. Vonk (Roos)
Visiting address

Thomas van Aquinostraat 4

Postal address

Postbus 9104

Working days Thursday

Roos Vonk is a psychologist and full professor at Radboud University. In addition, gives lectures and she writes articles and books in which she makes scientific knowledge about social psychology accessible and applicable to a broader audience.
She studied social psychology at Leiden University, where she obtained her PhD on research into the perception of persons.
After her PhD, she investigated the effects of ingratiation and flattery in person perception, and found out that this is more effective than many people realize. People's "ego's" turned out to be very important in social interaction. As a result, her research attention shifted and she investigated topics such as self-knowledge, self-enhancement, and self-deception. She discovered that the ego is always looking for ways to enhance itself, even through spirituality (spiritual narcissism).
The ego is also an important barrier when it comes to social influence and behaviour change, particularly in the realm of moral issues, such as climate and animal welfare. As a consequence, attempts to influence people can evoke much resistance. She teaches about this to psychology honours students and in the Master's program Behaviour Change.
In addition, she teaches about the unconscious self and the so-called psychological immune system, by which people unconsciously twist and distort information and engage in self-justification, in order to feel better about themselves, their lives, and their environment. In so doing, they impede their own possibilities for connecting with others and for development and self-improvement.
These psychological mechanisms restrain us not only as individuals, but also as a society. In recent years, she has also started examining this with her students, for example, the influence of system justification and social dominance orientation on people's attitudes towards climate policies, livestock farming, animal welfare, and the link between ego and human-animal relationships.

Research group
  • interpersonal processes lab


Ancillary activities