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The neural mechanisms of reparations

If you hurt someone else, when and why do you make amends? Using fMRI, we aim to find out which neural systems drive people toward restitution. Are other-harming events processed differently in the brain if you caused them? If so, this difference may give rise to behavioural differences between donation and reparation.

Effect of timing on collaborative decisions

We aim to find out how much information is needed to decide to stay or leave a social or non-social collaboration using a drift-diffusion model. More particularly, we want to know how equivocal aspects of the decision, like the default, the order of the incoming information or having a prior, affect the sampling process.

Shared group membership and cooperation

People tend to cooperate more with members of their own social groups than with members of other groups, even if they know nothing about the other person except for their group membership. We aim to replicate this finding with people from different nationalities and investigate if adding a shared group membership can remove this difference in cooperation.

Subjective value of equity information

We know people care about fairness, but how much exactly? Using the ultimatum game with imperfect information, we will investigate whether people are willing to pay to obtain equity information. Furthermore, we will measure individual differences in cognitive control and social value orientation to investigate how these measures relate to the subjective value of equity information.

Linking movie success to neural activation

We look at the neural activity of a small focus group while they watch movie trailers. By this, we are able to say something about how much the individual likes the movie, and how much the general population likes it.

Neural drivers of goal-directed motivation

When pursuing their goals, people often need to perform a series of actions over time. How and why does motivation change over the course of pursuing such goals? In this study, we aim to explore the dynamics and neural drivers of motivation to obtain a reward as a function of goal progress.

Scarcity in everyday decision-making

We all know that the living in poverty provides serious challenges. In this project we try to uncover how 'not having enough' affects decision making. Does it affect purchasing behavior or the way we process products? And how do brain functions change when you do not have enough? 

Mapping the motivations for reciprocity

Using a novel variant of the Trust Game, we quantify the balance between different social preferences employed by reciprocity decision-makers. We investigate the neural correlates of the different motivations to reciprocate (or not).

Valence and order effects on valuation

Product reviews impact the way potential consumers evaluate a specific good. By varying the type of information presented on relevant dimensions (in particular the valence and the source of information) we can measure the effect they have on the valuation of a product.

Emotion and politics

Polls are telling us that harmful or joyful social events can affect people's attitudes toward a policy or a political leader. Using neuroscience, we try to find out how political issues can elicit emotional reactions, and which individual traits could account for these reactions.

Guilt and trustworthiness in psychopathy

Based on observed abnormalities it is unclear whether psychopathic individuals are capable of understanding others' expectations and to what extent this affects their sensitivity to anticipated guilt. This study aimed to discover this by studying trustworthiness in adult psychopathic individuals.

A description-experience gap in social expectations

Whether you experience something or you "only" read about it in the newspaper strongly impacts how you use this information when making decisions. In this project, we investigate whether and how social expectations differ based on their source: own experience versus descriptive information.

Scarcity and learning

We all know that the living in poverty provides serious challenges. In this project we try to uncover how 'not having enough' affects the way in which people handle probabilistic learning and what changes might occur in this process in people facing scarcity. 

Mechanisms of diversification in consumer choice

How do people make multiple selections from an array of available options? In decision tasks in which people have to allocate a scarce resource (e.g., money) over a fixed set of options, people tend to diversify. We seek to provide more insight into the underlying motivations to diversify, using fMRI.

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Information sampling in trust decisions

How much would you like to know about other people before trusting them? Using a Bayesian modelling approach, we uncover individual differences in strategies that underlie trustworthiness information sampling prior to trust decisions, and its modulation by cost and social context.

Facial appearance as indicator of trustworthiness

People are automatically influenced by how trustworthy the face of another person looks even though facial appearance is not a (strong) indicator of actual trustworthiness. Using behavioural tasks and fMRI we investigate how an interpretation of facial cues as expressions or static morphology influences how these facial cues are used in social decision-making.

Altruistic punishment and compensation

You see someone being robbed. What do you do? People are willing to react to unfairness and injustice even at personal cost. Costly punishment and compensation are two mechanisms though which people react to norm violations. What are the mechanisms underlying these two behaviours?

Promise, trust and punishment

Trust is an important social construct, playing a crucial role in almost all human relationships. The present study aimed to investigate the processing of promises in social interactions and how people deal with broken promises, as well as the consequent willingness to punish the betrayer.

The drivers of cooperation

We know from previous behavioral research that humans like cooperation, much more so than predicted by rational models. By utilizing a novel format of the famous public goods game, the aim of this project is to determine why people behave altruistically when it comes to cooperation.

The effects of expectations on fairness

In a novel variant of the Ultimatum Game, we investigate how different aspects of expectations affect people's decisions to accept or reject unfair offers of others. We investigate the computational implications of these expectations and the neural substrates of the different reactions to unfairness.

Visual processing in scarcity and abundance

Poverty is an extant problem, facing hundreds of millions of people all over the world. We aim to uncover the mechanisms of the 'scarce mindset' by inducing resource scarcity and investigating its effects on visual processing, specifically the response and serial dependence biases.

Neural correlates of free product valuation

Everyone enjoys getting things for free, and this is a concept that is widely known and used in promotion campaigns of various companies. How does getting a product for free impact your valuation of that product, at a neural level?

Social comparison in financial decisions

People do not only care about the outcomes for themselves, but also about the outcomes of those who are involved in the same situation. We examine the effect of social comparison in financial decision. Insight into these mechanisms will increase our understanding of financial decision making.

Social comparison and cooperative decision-making

Social comparison processes are of great importance in our interactions with others, informing us of our relative standing and in turn potentially motivating our behavior. The present study examines how the social comparison processes can influence cooperative behavior.

Status and risk

In this project, we research the influence of social status on people's perception of positive/negative feedback, as well as their tendency to take financial risks.

Taking someone's word for it

Most experiments are done in a highly controlled setting. In this project we try to let this go just a little bit. We want to investigate the effect of communication on cooperation. Participants are free to send each other whatever message they like. What would you say to convince somebody to cooperate?

Trust learning and methylphenidate

Methylphenidate (commercially known as  Ritalin®) is a stimulant drug, largely used in the therapy of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. In this study we investigate the effects of methylphenidate on decision-making in social and non-social domains by using an iterative Trust Game.

Neural correlates of procedural justice

We want to be treated fairly. However, we don't only care about who gets how much of goods and bads. We also care about the procedures by which we allocate rewards and punishments. In this project, we look into the neural correlates of the interplay between procedural and distributive fairness.

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