NWO grants for four researchers of the Faculty of Social Sciences

Researchers Daniela Becker, Evelien Heijselaar, Dominique Maciejewski & Saskia van Schaik were recently awarded an SGW Open Competition XS grant by the Dutch Research Council (NWO). These grants are intended for researchers with innovative and promising ideas who can make scientific progress with their research.

Is pleasure the problem – or part of the solution? Investigating the role of hedonic goal pursuit in self-regulation

dr. Daniela Becker

Self-regulation research currently focuses on restraint. In this landscape, experiencing pleasure and enjoyment during hedonic activities (e.g., enjoying chocolate, relaxing on the sofa) is typically portrayed as something that should be avoided. There is, however, growing recognition that hedonic experiences may be part of – rather than a threat to – successful self-regulation. Inspired by those recent findings, the current research proposal is among the first to investigate how enhanced (vs. obstructed) hedonic experiences may actually support self-regulation. The predicted findings would have wide-reaching implications for the conceptualization of self-regulation, as well as for interventions improving self-regulation and health behavior.

Does our relationship with social technology change as we age?

dr. Evelien Heyselaar

Social technology (technology that we can interact with, e.g., chatbots and robots) is developing at a rapid pace. Everyone has at least one social appliance in their household (e.g., amazon alexa, siri) and that average will keep increasing in the coming years. The development of this technology is based on key studies conducted in the early 1990s (CASA), when only a few people had a personal computer. Are these theories still applicable today, in a time when social technology has become a key part of our society, or is the theory outdated?

How do people decide how they feel? Response processes in Experience Sampling Method studies

dr. Dominique Maciejewski 

The Experience Sampling Method (ESM), a technique to study emotions in daily life, is booming among researchers and clinicians. To justify its use, valid measurements are crucial, but recently concerns about the validity of ESM have been voiced. The current project proposes a person-specific approach to identify how individuals interpret and respond to questions about their emotions in ESM studies. Specifically, it will identify how consistent individuals are over time and how they differ from each other in these response processes. Results will generate new hypotheses regarding response processes and provide practical implications for researchers and clinicians using ESM.

GREEN KIDS. Green early childhood centers and Kids’ experiences: Co-designing a sustainability pedagogy.

dr. Saskia van Schaik

How do we raise today’s toddlers for a green tomorrow? While growing up in a world with increasing need for sustainability, a sustainability pedagogy for the early years is missing. How can Early Childhood Education (ECE) support toddlers to care for nature and sustainability? By first) asking green ECE professionals and observing toddlers in these centers and second) co-designing a pedagogy with regular ECE professionals, this project aims to study and share sustainability knowledge and tools with ECE teachers. After all, all toddlers are entitled to nature-rich early childhood experiences that support them in their development and care for life.

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Faculty of Social Sciences