Behaviour Regulation
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleSOW-BS031
Credits (ECTS)4
CategoryMA (Master)
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Social Sciences; Behavioural Science;
PreviousNext 2
dr. D. Becker
Other course modules lecturer
dr. G. Bijlstra
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
prof. dr. R.W. Holland
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. R.W. Holland
Other course modules lecturer
prof. dr. R.W. Holland
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2023
PER1  (04/09/2023 to 03/11/2023)
Starting block
Course mode
Please note: if you do not yet have a master's registration, you are not yet registered for the tests for this course.
RemarksFor Behavioural Science RM students only, non-BSRM students interested in the course, please mail to
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
When finishing the course successfully, students will be able to
1)      critically evaluate and discuss state of the art research on motivational, cognitive and affective processes that play a key role in the regulation of human behaviour.
2)      integrate ideas from different theories and lines of research concerning behaviour regulation.
3)      Develop their own hypotheses and ideas for a study related to one of the themes of behaviour regulation.
The course presents a state-of-the-art overview of cognitive, evaluative, motivational and social processes that regulate behaviour. In the course, we focus on various themes including: evaluative processes; motivation; habits, implementation intentions and goal-directed behaviour; Self-control; impulsive behaviour; Freezing and Behavioural inhibition; agency and free will. A lot of questions will be raised during the course. For example: When do people mobilize effort for action? How can we automatize controlled actions? Can we unconsciously pursuit our goals? Why and how do we freeze when we encounter threat? How can we change impulsive behaviour? How does affect influence control processes? In the final meeting we will discuss the earlier themes in relation to general theoretical models on behaviour regulation and we will practice the integration of the various theories and lines of research that is highly relevant to prepare for the take-home exam.

Teaching formats:
Because of the Corona Crisis the course will be held online, but still we aim for interactive meetings with a lot of discussion. Every meeting consists of online interactive lecture by one of the lecturers and is followed by a interactive discussion session that is chaired by students. By means of lectures, discussions and assignments, on the basis of the relevant literature, students are stimulated to gain knowledge and insight concerning behaviour regulation in an active, critical, and constructive way. In each of the meetings we will focus on a specific theme. Students prepare these meetings by means of group assignments prior to the meetings. The theme starts with a lecture on the theme given by one of the lecturers, providing in-depth information on the theme and discussion of the research area. After the lecture, a discussion session is chaired by one group of students and together they write a brief review of the discussion. Furthermore, in the course students individually write their own research proposal on a topic on behaviour regulation. They will get feedback on their first ideas during an individual meeting with one of the lecturers. The course ends with a take home exam/essay, which is prepared in the final meeting. In the take home exam, students have 48 hours to complete the exam, which generally consists of one integrative general essay question and two or three shorter essay questions that are related to more specific topics. 

Presumed foreknowledge

Test information


Required materials
To be announced
The course (mostly) uses recent primary sources from top journals and books chapters as course materials to familiarize students with current theoretical en empirical advances in behaviour regulation research.
To be announced
One week before the start of the course a list of references will be posted on blackboard and the literature will be provided at the secretariat of the Research Master Behavioural Science. Representative literature:

Recommended materials
Roelofs, K. & Hagenaars, M.A. & Stins, J. (2010) Facing freeze: Social threat induces bodily freeze in humans. Psychological Science, 21 (11) 1575-1581.
Papies, E. & Aarts, H. (in press) Automatic self-regulation: From habit to goal pursuit. In Handbook of self regulation: Research, theory, and applications, Edition: 3rd, Publisher: Guilford Press, Editors: K. Vohs, R. Baumeister.
Wegner, D.M. (2004). Precis of The illusion of conscious will. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 27, 649-692.
Gollwitzer, P. M., Gawrilow, C., & Oettingen, G. (2010). The power of planning: Self-control by effective goal-striving. In R. R. Hassin, K. N. Ochsner, & Y. Trope (Eds.), Self control in society, mind, and brain (pp. 279-296). New York: Oxford Unive
Verbruggen, F., McLaren, I. P. L. and Chambers, C. D. (2014). Banishing the Control Homunculi in Studies of Action Control and Behavior Change. Perspectives on Psychological Science, Vol. 9(5) 497–524.
Inzlicht, M., & Schmeichel, B. J. (2012). What is ego depletion? Toward a mechanistic revision of the resource model of self-control. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7, 450-463.
Strack, F., & Deutsch, R. (2004). Reflective and impulsive determinants of social behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 8, 220-247. Bulletin, 31, 121-135.
Lawrence, N. S., O'Sullivan, J., Parslow, D., Javaid, M., Adams, R. C., Chambers, C. D., & Verbruggen, F. (2015). Training response inhibition to food is associated with weight loss and reduced energy intake. Appetite, 95, 17-28.
Cunningham, W. A., & Zelazo, P. D. (2007). Attitudes and evaluations: a social cognitive neuroscience perspective. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 11, 97- 104.
Representative Literature Braver, T. S. (2012). The variable nature of cognitive control: a dual mechanisms framework. Trends in cognitive sciences, 16(2), 106-113.

Instructional modes

Take home exam
Test weight1
Test typeExam
OpportunitiesBlock PER1, Block PER2

Research Proposal
Test weight1
Test typePresentation
OpportunitiesBlock PER1, Block PER2

Class participation and question
Test weight0
Test typeParticipation
OpportunitiesBlock PER1, Block PER2