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2018 Heymans Talks

For more talks and podcasts see Psychology Talks.

Making a difference: Improving learning by applying memory theories

Among the first identified phenomena in modern-day psychology are the spacing and testing effects which determine how well factual information is memorized: performance is better when learning is spaced over time and when some of the learning time is devoted to testing retention of the information. However, to utilize these phenomena to improve learning in real-life settings requires adaptation to the characteristics of individual learners. Professor Hedderik van Rijn will present the RuggedLearning/SlimStampen system, embedded in Brightspace, the university-wide digital learning environment, that allows UG students to learn more efficiently and discuss how this system utilizes psychological theories to make a difference in the real world.


A network-based approach to understanding the behavioural aspects of energy use

In order to understand the behavioural aspects of energy use, various social psychological and sociological theories interact, resulting in a large amount of variables to be studied. Dr. Casper Albers shows how psychological networks can help to understand relationships between general motivational factors, household energy behaviour and support for diverse energy policy, both at the individual and at the group level. As such, network models can be used as an exploratory tool, or to confirm existing hypotheses.

Hiding behind the mask of normalcy: Leader psychopathy and the role of emotion regulation strategies

Those with psychopathic tendencies sometimes do pretty well in society and some are even capable of acquiring a leadership position. Could it be, as is sometimes assumed, that they hide behind the mask of normalcy and manage their public display of emotions? In a multi-source field study of leaders and followers (N = 311 teams) professor Barbara Wisse and her researchers found that leader psychopathy is positively related to faking or hiding emotions (surface acting) as well as to attempts to actually experience a required emotion (deep acting). Moreover, leaders with psychopathic tendencies better stick to surface acting and refrain from deep acting: Negative effects of surface acting and positive effects of deep acting on follower well-being and attitudes were less pronounced for those scoring higher on psychopathy.

Understanding and capturing the complexity of resilience

Resilience is conceptualized as the process of adapting well to adverse events. However, so far the current literature is lacking a specific theoretical approach that can help understanding how this process unfolds over time as well as providing the research tools to capture these trajectories. In order to fill this void, PhD student Yannick Hill will present a dynamic systems approach to resilience and demonstrate how it ties together with the existing literature on resilience in sports. Finally, he will provide an overview of its implications for future research.

Better sleep on it: the effect of sleep deprivation on fear expression

To gain insight into the high comorbidity between insomnia and anxiety disorders, dr Yannick Hill together with other researchers of the Clinical Psychology & Experimental Psychopathology group investigated the effect of sleep deprivation on the expression of fear. They used a conditioning paradigm with a fear acquisition phase in the evening (comprising one stimulus that was paired with electric shock and another one that was not) and a test of fear expression in the subsequent morning (comprising the two stimuli of the acquisition phase and a morph between these two as a generalization stimulus). Between fear acquisition and test, participants were either kept awake for 12 hours or had one night of sleep at home. Sleep deprivation relative to sleep led to overall increased subjective threat values as indicated by shock expectancy ratings.

The grasping brain

We easily grasp the pen on our desk. Despite the apparent simplicity of the task, there are yet no robots able to reproduce grasping movements at our level of dexterity. How does our brain solve this complexity? In this talk, dr. Sara Fabbri will show how the communication between various brain regions allows us to interact efficiently with the objects around us.

Last modified:23 September 2022 10.54 a.m.