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How to find us prof. dr. C.A.J. Vlek

prof. dr. C.A.J. Vlek

Charles Vlek is professor emeritus of environmental psychology and decision research at the University of Groningen (NL). He studied experimental and social psychology at Leiden University where he worked until1976 as a staff member at the Department of Social Sciences. After study periods in Sweden, California and New Hampshire he defended a PhD-thesis entitled 'Psycholo­gical studies in probability and decision making' (1973). In 1969 he co-founded the biennial European Research Conference on Subjective Probability, Utility and Decision Making.

In 1976 he transferred to Groningen to engage in experimental research in social psychology, combined with applied research on comparative risk perception and decision making around various industrial activities − as instigated by the Netherlands’ Royal Institute of Engineers and the Ministry of Environmental Affairs. In 1980 he spent six months at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan.

He joined the steering committee of the Dutch 'Societal Discussion on (nuclear) Energy Policy' (1982-’83), and has variously advised the Dutch national Health Council (Gezondheidsraad) and the Organization for Scientific Research NWO. He has been a ‘Judgment and decision-making’ editor of Acta Psychologica and a consulting editor for the Journal of Environmental Psychology.

Most of his work after 1990 is aimed at understanding human behaviour and environmental sustainability, and at evaluating national and regional risk assessments. Since 2013, his research is focused on the assessment and management of environmental (seismic) hazards and risks from natural gas extraction and other underground energy projects.


Aardgas, risico’s en besluiten – een buitenparlementair onderzoek naar gaswinning-met-aardbevingen in Groningen.

Vlek, C. (2020). Assen: Koninklijke Van Gorcum, 160 pp.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter › Popular

Omgevingsrisico’s van gaswinning in Groningen: moeizaam erkend, beperkt beoordeeld, met mate beheerst.

Vlek, C. (2020), In: Tijdschrift Milieu (Dossier), oktober, 37-46.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Popular › peer-review



Rise and reduction of induced earthquakes in the Groningen gas field, 1991-2018: statistical trends, social impacts, and policy change

Vlek, C., 18-Jan-2019, In: Environmental Earth sciences. 78, 3, 14 p., 59.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review


The Groningen Gasquakes: Foreseeable Surprises, Complications of Hard Science, and the Search for Effective Risk Communication

Vlek, C., 2019, In: Seismological Research Letters. 90, 3, p. 1071-1077, 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review



Induced Earthquakes from Long-Term Gas Extraction in Groningen, the Netherlands: Statistical Analysis and Prognosis for Acceptable-Risk Regulation

Vlek, C., Jul-2018, In: Risk Analysis. 38, 7, p. 1455-1473 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review

Lagere gaswinning maakt Groningen langzaam veiliger.

Vlek, Ch. (2018), In: Tijdschrift Milieu, no. 7 (november), pp. 44-49.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Popular › peer-review



Groningen wordt steeds bevingsgevoeliger voor verdere gaswinning: Statistische analyse, geofysische verklaring en onzekere risicobeheersing.

Vlek, C. (2017), In: Ruimtelijke Veiligheid en Risicobeleid jrg. 8, nr. 26/27, 35-48.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review



Toekomstperspectief gaswinning met aardbevingen in Groningen: ontwikkeling van de seismische dreiging en een ‘veiliger’ gaswinstrategie.

Vlek, C.A.J. (2016), In: Ruimtelijke Veiligheid en Risicobeleid, 7 (24), 12-35.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review



Relations between economic wealth, ecological footprint, and environmental protection depend on climatic demands

Van de Vliert, E. & Vlek, C., 2015, In: International Journal of Environmental Studies. 72, 6, p. 948-971 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review

Gaswinning en aardbevingsrisico’s in Groningen: naar een veiligheidsbeleid met de kennis van nu. Vlek, C.A.J. (2015), In: Ruimtelijke Veiligheid en Risicobeleid, Jrg 6, Nr. 18, 5-21.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review

‘Aanvaardbaar omgevingsrisico’: ongemakkelijke beleidsinnovaties en een dozijn redelijke richtlijnen voor uitdagende veiligheidskwesties ─ zoals gaswinning in Groningen.

Vlek, C.A.J. (2015), In: Ruimtelijke Veiligheid en Risicobeleid, Jrg 6, Nr. 19 (sept.), 22-33.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review



Evenwichtig omgaan met aardbevingsrisico’s van gaswinning in Groningen: analyse en verdieping van ‘redelijk risicobeleid’ door de overheid.

Vlek, C.A.J. & Geerts, R. (2014), In: Ruimtelijke Veiligheid en Risicobeleid, Jrg 5, Nr. 15, 34-54.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review

Verstandige voorzorg. Groningse gaswinning vergt tweezijdig risicobeleid.

Vlek, Ch. & Geerts, R. (2014), In: De Ingenieur, 9, 52-53 (september).

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Professional › Popular

Vrijwillige acceptatie van omgevingsrisico’s: de burger moet het weten, willen en kunnen.

Vlek, C.A.J. (2014), In: Milieu en Recht, 125, 627-634.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Professional › Academic



How Solid Is the Dutch (and the British) National Risk Assessment? Overview and Decision-Theoretic Evaluation

Vlek, C., Jun-2013, In: Risk Analysis. 33, 6, p. 948-971 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review


What Can National Risk Assessors Learn from Decision Theorists and Psychologists? Response

Vlek, C., Aug-2013, In: Risk Analysis. 33, 8, p. 1389-1393 5 p.

Hoe solide is de Nederlandse (en de Britse) ‘Nationale Risicobeoordeling’? Overzicht en evaluatie vanuit besliskundig en psychologisch gezichtspunt.

Vlek, C. (2013). Ruimtelijke Veiligheid en Risicobeleid, 13, 6-23.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review

Regionale risicoprofielen ter versterking van veiligheidscapaciteiten. Overzicht en evaluatie tegen de achtergrond van het externe veiligheidsbeleid.

Vlek, C. (2013). Tijdschrift voor Veiligheid, 12 (3), 34-52. (

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review


Beoordeling, acceptatie en beheersing van risico’s: traditie, kritiek en vernieuwing.

Vlek, C.A.J. (2012). In: B.J.M. Ale, E.R. Muller & R. Ronner (Red.): Risico: Risico en Risicomanagement in Nederland, pp. 77-102. Deventer: Kluwer. 

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter › Academic

Historical Development of SPUDM 1969-1997: Research Conference on Subjective Probability, Utility and Decision Making.

Vlek, Ch. (2012), Illustrated chapter (12 pp.) for EADM, European Association for Decision Making.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter › Academic



Duurzame mobiliteit: Gewetensvraag of bezweringsformule?

Vlek, C. A. J., 2011, In: Milieu. 3, p. 7 - 8

Former EADM president Willem Wagenaar deceased. Obituary published for European Association for Decision Making.

Vlek, C. A. J., 2011

Straightening Out the Grounds for Precaution: A Commentary and Some Suggestions About Terje Aven's "On Different Types of Uncertainties"

Vlek, C., Oct-2011, In: Risk Analysis. 31, 10, p. 1534-1537 4 p.

Technological risk, precautionary reasoning and ‘sustainable safety’: Eternal objective-subjective tensions? Vlek, C. A. J., 2011, Technology and Sustainability. Kroese, C., Boersema, J. & Tellegen, E. (eds.). Amsterdam: Techne Press, p. 65-78

Uitbreiding vliegveld Eelde gaat belastingbetaler veel geld kosten. Vlek, C. A. J., 2011, In: 

Vliegveld Eelde ontwikkelt zich tot bestuurlijk schandaal. Vlek, C. A. J., 2011, In: Dagblad van het Noorden.



Judicious management of uncertain risks: I. Criticisms and developments of risk analysis and precautionary reasoning.

Vlek, Ch. (2010), In: Journal of Risk Research, 13 (4), 517-543.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review

Judicious management of uncertain risks: II. Simple rules and more intricate models for precautionary decision-making

Vlek, C., 2010, In: Journal of Risk Research. 13, 4, p. 545-569 27 p., 920458381.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review

Onzeker risico: voorzorg of waagstuk. Column-op-verzoek

Vlek, C. A. J., 2010, Nieuwsbrief Nederlandse Vereniging Voor Risico Analyse en Bedrijfszekerheid.



A precautionary-principled approach towards uncertain-risk situations: Review and decision-theoretic elaboration

Vlek, C. A. J., 2009, In: Erasmus Law Review. 2, 2, p. 129 - 169

Encouraging pro-environmental behaviour: An integrative review and research agenda

Steg, L. & Vlek, C. A. J., Sep-2009, In: Journal of Environmental Psychology. 29, 3, p. 309-317.

Factors influencing car use for commuting and the intention to reduce it: A question of self-interest or morality?

Abrahamse, W., Steg, L., Gifford, R. & Vlek, C., Jul-2009, In: Transportation Research. Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour. 12, 4, p. 317-324 8 p.

 Social Science and Environmental Behaviour

Understanding and managing environmental resource use: a behavioral science perspective.

Steg, L. & Vlek, Ch. (2009). Chapter 9 (pp. 97-142) in: J. Boersema & L. Reijnders (Eds): Principles of Environmental Sciences. Berlin/New York: Springer Verlag.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding › Chapter › Academic.

Encouraging pro-environmental behaviour: An integrative review and research agenda.

Steg, L. & Vlek, Ch. (2009), In: Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29(3), 309-317.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Academic › peer-review

Last modified:09 July 2021 1.20 p.m.

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