Meet the Uncertainty Lab team:

Senior Researchers

Frenk van Harreveld

Frenk van Harreveld is professor of social psychology. His research concerns the experience of uncertainty and how this impacts on perceptions and behaviour. He holds the chair “Social cognition and behavioural change in relation to sustainability and safety”, sponsored by the National Institute for Public Health and the environment (RIVM).
He obtained his PhD at the University of Amsterdam. Subsequently he worked for the world’s largest consulting firm Accenture, after which he returned to the UvA. He has worked as a visiting researcher at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Full profile…

Joop van der Pligt

Joop van der Pligt (1951-2015) was a full professor of Social Psychology. He obtained his PhD at the University of London. Subsequently he worked for the Institute of Environmental Studies of the Free University at Amsterdam, Exeter University and the University of Amsterdam. He was a visiting professor at the University of Surrey (UK). Joop unexpectedly passed away on January 9, 2015. Full profile…

Bastiaan Rutjens

Dr. Bastiaan Rutjens is an assistant professor at the Psychology Research Institute of the University of Amsterdam, where he runs the PsySci lab. His research interests are in social and cultural psychology, within which he focuses on the psychology of belief systems and worldviews. Most of his research targets the psychology of science.

Full profile…

Michiel van Elk

Michiel studied philosophy, biological psychology and the psychology of religion in Utrecht, Amsterdam and Njjmegen. He pursued his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Donders Institute in Nijmegen, followed by a post-doc position at the EPFL in Switzerland. Currently he is working as a researcher at the University of Amsterdam. His main interest is the cognitive science of religion and he focuses on topics such as absorption, agency detection and magical thinking.

Hannah Nohlen

Hannah studied psychology and behaviour science in Nijmegen, Cardiff, and Würzburg. She obtained her PhD at the University of Amsterdam and did a postdoc at the University of Toronto in Canada. She returned to the University of Amsterdam as an assistant professor in the end of 2017. Her main research interests lie in the area of attitudes and decision-making with a focus on evaluative conflicts and attitude change, which she studies by combining behavioural and survey research with physiological measures (EMG, fMRI).

Full profile…

PhD Students

Jonas Dalege

Jonas received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Amsterdam in 2011 (cum laude) and graduated the Research Master programme of the same university in 2013 (cum laude). After working as a research assistant at the University of Hamburg for a year, he rejoined the University of Amsterdam to start his PhD project in 2015. His project focuses on developing a network model of attitudes. In this model, evaluative reactions toward an attitude object (e.g., beliefs, feelings, and behaviors) are conceptualized as causally connected entities that form a network.

David Maij

David received his bachelor’s degree in Psychology (Brain & Cognition) at the Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2011.Two years later, he obtained research master degrees in Cognitive Neuroscience and Clinical & Health Psychology (Cum Laude) after graduating at the University of Leiden. Since January 2014, he has been working as a PhD candidate under the supervision of Dr Michiel van Elk at the University of Amsterdam.

Full profile…


Steven Heine

University of British Columbia

Marret Noordewier

Leiden University

Wil Cunningham

University of Toronto

Tom Pyszczynski

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

Aaron Kay

Duke University: The Fuqua School of Business

Joanna Wojtkowiak

University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht


Daniel Alink

Phd thesis: “Public Trust: Expectancies, Beliefs, and Behavior”, September 12, 2014


Lottie Bullens

Phd thesis: “Having second thoughts: consequences of decision reversibility”, December 4, 2013

Iris Schneider

Phd thesis: “The dynamics of ambivalence: Cognitive, affective and physical consequences of evaluative conflict”, March 19, 2013