prof. dr. M. (Martijn) van Zomeren

Universitair Hoofddocent Sociale Psychologie


Postal address:
United Kingdom

Research interests

Research statement

My theorizing and research has focused mainly on the psychology of collective action against collective disadvantage, exemplified by peaceful demonstations and petitions (e.g., against cuts on higher education), but also violent uprisings and revolts (e.g., Egypt, Tunesia, Libya). In my and my collaborators' theorizing and research in this domain, I seek to integrate different theoretical perspectives. As a consequence, I seek to model the relationships between four core motivations for engagement in collcetive action: group identity, emotion, efficacy, and morality. The core theme in this line of theorizing and research thus revolves around the question how individuals can become more active and involved in groups, and in society at large.


More specifically, together with my collaborators I have d eveloped thedynamic dual pathway model of coping with collective disadvantage, and the social identity model of collective action (SIMCA), which identify different ways to increase individuals` participation in collective action from different meta-theorical anges (coping and social identity theories, respectively).


My current theorizing and research moves beyond the realm of collective action, however. It focuses instead on the psychology of human motivation in general and connects aspects of my earlier thinking with the accumulating insight that humans are fundamentally relational beings. A theoretical article has been accepted in Theory & Psychology, and I am writing a book that reconsiders and replaces the implicit axiom of individuality in theories and research on motivation with one that is grounded in social relationships. In the book I show that it becomes possible to reinterpret the psychology of motivation in an integrative and even consilient way.


Selected International Publications (first-authored)  

Van Zomeren, M.
 , Spears, R., Fischer, A. H., & Leach, C. W. (2004). Put your money where your mouth is!: Explaining collective action tendencies through group-based anger and group efficacy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 649–664

Van Zomeren, M., Postmes, T., & Spears, R. (2008). Toward an integrative Social Identity Model of Collective Action: A quantitative research synthesis of three socio-psychological perspectives. Psychological Bulletin, 134, 504 - 535

Van Zomeren, M., Leach, C. W., & Spears, R.  (2012). Protesters as "Passionate Economists": A dynamic dual pathway model of approach coping with collective disadvantage. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 16, 180-198

Van Zomeren, M. (2013). Four core social-psychological motivations to undertake collective action. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 7, 378-388

Van Zomeren, M. (2014). Synthesizing individualistic and collectivistic perspectives on environmental and collective action through a relational perspective. Theory & Psychology, 24, 775-794

Van Zomeren, M. (2015). Psychological processes in social action. In J. F. Dovidio & J. Simpson (Eds.), APA Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology(Volume 2): Group Processes (pp. 507-533). Washington: American Psychological Association.

Selected international publications (non-first authored):

De Vos, B., Van Zomeren, M., Gordijn, E. H., & Postmes, T. (2013). Communicating ‘pure’ group-based anger reduces tendencies toward intergroup conflict through increased empathy. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 1043-1052.

Tauber, S. & Van Zomeren, M. (2013). Outrage towards whom? Threats to moral group status impede striving to improve via outgroup-directed outrage.European Journal of Social Psychology, 43, 149-159

Cohen-Chen, S., Halperin, E., Saguy, T. & Van Zomeren, M. (2014). Beliefs about group malleability can facilitate collective action. Social and Personality Psychology Science, 5, 203-210.

Kamans, E., Van Zomeren, M., Gordijn, E. H., & Postmes, T. (2014). Selling a just war: How communicating power-congruent emotions of wrong-doing or harm legitimizes intergroup violence. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 17, 286 - 305

Bouman, T., Van Zomeren, M., & Otten, S. (2014). Threat by association: Do distant group threats carry-over into local intolerance? British Journal of Social Psychology, 53, 405-421

Tauber, S., Van Zomeren, M., & Kutlaca, M. (2014). Should the moral core of climate issues be emphasized or downplayed in public discourse? Three ways to successfully manage the double-edged sword of moral communication. Special Issue 'Multi-disciplinary perspectives on climate ethics' (Eds. Markowitz, E. & Grasso, M.), Climatic Change. doi: 10.1007/s10584-014-1200-6

Turner, F. M., Van Zomeren, M., & Postmes, T. (2015). Explaining politicization in the US 2012 presidential elections through identity strength and identity content. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43, 433-445

Goldenberg, A., Halperin, E., Gross, J. J. & Van Zomeren, M. (in press). The process model of group-based emotion: Integrating intergroup emotion and emotion regulation perspectives. Personality and Social Psychology Review.


  1. CERE 2014

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

  2. European Journal of Social Psychology (Journal)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

  3. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations (Journal)

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

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