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Psychology (EN)

Psychological Research: Something for you?

Are you thinking about what you will do after your bachelor or which master programme you would like to take? Perhaps you are especially interested in research and are you already following a master programme at the RUG that focusses on this aspect?

Do you want to know more about current developments in psychology at Groningen? Read the blog mindwise:

Psychological Research at this university is done at the Heymans Institute, called after the founding father of psychology in the Netherlands. The versatility of its research, ranging from fundamental to very practical, manifests itself in the seven research programmes of the institute. Quite a few staff members, whom you may have met as a teacher already, participate in these programmes.

Researchers within Psychology

To help you orientate on psychological research, this site periodically highlights three researchers from different subfields of psychology. We hope these web pages present interesting information and may inspire you to gather some ideas for a topic for a master thesis.

Dynamics of the Healthy Brain

Prof.dr. M.M. (Monicque) Lorist

Automaticity and addiction

dr. B.D. (Brian) Ostafin

Interaction between individual, group and society

prof.dr. T.T. (Tom) Postmes

For a general overview of research of the Psychology department have a look at Mindwise. This is a blog platform of the Department of Psychology of the University of Groningen (located in the Netherlands). Staff and students write in a personal capacity about psychological research and education in Groningen, and express their opinions on current affairs based on their expertise.

  • Testimonial van Monicque Lorist

    Dynamics of the Healthy Brain

    Ageing affects our brain. But how does the brain deal with these changes? “The better our understanding of the brain, the easier it will be to promote healthy ageing.

    Ageing does not necessarily mean that cognitive functions, such as memory and attention, deteriorate. An MRI-scan of someone's brain may reveal that ageing affects the anatomical structure of the brain, but that does not tell you much about how different parts of the brain interact. It's the dynamics of those interactions that determine our behaviour, but these dynamics in the ageing brain are poorly understood.

    In my research, I try to find an answer to the question how our brain compensates for changes that occur in our bodies as the result of ageing. The better our understanding of our behavior and underlying brain mechanisms, the easier it will be to promote healthy ageing for all of us.

    – Monicque Lorist
  • Testimonial van

    My research focuses on mental habits (automatic processes) and addiction. Automatic attentional and behavioral responses are necessary to guide behavior towards natural rewards (good food, attractive mates). However, they may become strongly linked to cues of addiction and thus contribute to use that occurs despite a conscious desire to restrain.

    My work examines the role of these automatic appetitive processes in failures to control addictive behavior. I also examine how mindfulness training may help to overcome such mental habits, thereby increasing self-control.

  • Testimonial van

    Interaction between individual, group and society

    Man is by nature a remarkably social and co-operative entity. People not only feel comfortable in groups and social networks, together they construct whole societies. Such group processes create huge benefits for each individual. In spite of this, we increasingly see ourselves as unique and autonomous. Such interaction between individual, group and society is central to my research.

  • Testimonial van Wang Dan

    So far this study experience has given me a chance to realize my full academic potential, and has contributed to get a better understanding of myself

    I come from China and I am enrolled in the master in Cognitive Psychology and Psychophysiology, because I am fascinated in this field.

    After evaluating information about the environment, education equality, costs, and tuition fees in Groningen, together with additional information about the Netherlands from my parents, I decided to start studying at the RUG.

    At the beginning of my study my daily life was full of trouble. Except for all the practical and logistical issues I had to solve as a new Groningen citizen, I also had problems to find the right study strategy. The education system in The Netherlands is really different compared with China.

    Since I never feel ashamed to ask for help, I soon found out that the student service system in Groningen is well-organized, so that you can always get professional advice. Feeling supported and safe at the very start of my studies was crucial, and 3 months into the program I realized that I had made the right decision to come to Groningen. So far this study experience has given me a chance to realize my full academic potential, and has contributed to get a better understanding of myself.

    The English master in Psychology program at the RUG is still work in progress. The distribution of courses throughout the year could be improved.

    During my study I did a half year internship as a psychology teacher in a special secondary school. After finishing my master I am intending to go back to China maybe to become a teacher.

    I have learned things which are totally different from what I learned before and that is quite challenging.

    – Wang Dan
  • Testimonial van Alumnus Natia Ubilava

    This is a great opportunity to really get to know what scientific research involves

    As an international student at the University of Groningen (RUG) I felt welcomed and supported throughout the academic year. The international office with its professional staff has guided me to complete all the necessary procedures. The university student desk is always ready to help students with all the academic and personal necessities. The only thing you need to do is to ask for help and the university staff will do their best for you. The student is the center of attention.

    I had an exceptional academic experience with lots of challenges and excitement at the RUG. I had attended high standard courses, supervised by the best researchers in their respective fields. Apart from their professionalism they are passionate and inspiring. Faculty members are accessible and willing to give students advice about their study related questions and concerns. The Master program is structured in a way that allows students to select the courses that best suit to their interest. Lectures are given in an interactive format, meaning active participation is expected. There is a strong focus on research skills (statistics, writing, presenting), combined with learning how to conduct high-quality research or policy advice. This is a great opportunity to really get to know what scientific research involves. The perfect combination of theory, skills and practice will thoroughly prepare students for a job in the scientific world. The things you learn throughout the program will certainly allow you to successfully pursue a job outside of the academic world.

    The University also offers extracurricular courses and social events that make the whole experience even more exciting. The extracurricular courses aren’t restricted to the faculty members only, for example, I attended an extracurricular course on social entrepreneurship offered by the faculty of economics and business. If you are enthusiastic and motivated, the University of Groningen is a great match for you!

    Studying and living in Groningen is a life experience. Alongside a wide range of study programs, Groningen is considered to be one of the youngest cities in the Netherlands. Therefore, this beautiful city offers lots of activities for young people. Starting from the sport activities to the art classes organized by the student associations, you will have a chance to meet up with the diverse mix of students from all around the world.

    Dutch people are very nice and friendly towards foreigners, almost everybody speaks perfect English and not knowing Dutch is not an issue to communicate but it is always possible and encouraged to take a free course in the Dutch language offered by the University.

    To conclude, the learning process was even more than I ever expected could be possible. Based on this, I would fully recommend the University of Groningen to anyone who wants to get an outstanding education in a nice atmosphere.

    Natia Ubilava is from Georgia and moved to Groningen to study psychology at a master level, at the faculty of Behavioral and Social Sciences. Natia has a government scholarship to pursue her degree at RUG. Upon completion of her studies, Natia will return to Georgia to work for the public sector. Natia will also pursue a career in social psychology at the Tbilisi State University at a doctorate level.

    – Alumnus Natia Ubilava
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