dhr. dr. N.B. (Nils) Jostmann

  • Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
    Programmagroep: Social Psychology
  • Bezoekadres:
    Weesperplein 4  Amsterdam
    Kamernummer: 4.15
  • Postadres:
    Weesperplein  4
    1018 XA  Amsterdam
  • N.B.Jostmann@uva.nl
    T:  0205256889

Research Interests

I investigate how people can motivate themselves to do difficult or demanding activities rather than being tempted to seek instant pleasure. An important hypothesis is that we possess a mechanism that translates feelings of being strongly engaged into perceptions that a task is valuable. Among some individuals (e.g. action-oriented individuals; people with high achievement motivation) this mechanism appears to work quite naturally, but unfortunately this does not hold for everybody (e.g. state-oriented individuals; people who are low-achievement oriented). In an experimental research program using cognitive, social psychological and physiological measures, it is examined how, why, and when engagement facilitates motivation. The findings are interpreted in light of their implications for self-regulation in the domains of health, consumer behaviour, and learning.


In the academic year 2012/13 I teach the self-regulation & health course (together with Dr. Yael De Liver) and an introduction into motivation research.

Media Mentions


Van Prooijen, J.-W., & Jostmann, N. B. (in press). Belief in conspiracy theories: The influence of uncertainty and perceived morality. European Journal of Social Psychology .
Förster, J., & Jostmann, N. B.  (in press). What is automatic self-regulation? Journal of Psychology .
Koole, S. L., Jostmann, N. B. , & Baumann, N. (2012). Do demanding conditions help or hurt self-regulation? Personality and Social Psychology Compass , 4 , 328-346.
Dannenberg, L., Förster, J., & Jostmann, N. B. (2012). ''If only. . .'': When counterfactual thoughts can reduce illusions of personalauthorship. Consciousness and Cognition , 21, 456-463.
Lakens, D., Schneider, I. K., Jostmann, N. B. , & Schubert, T. W. (2011). Telling things apart: Key distance influences response times in binary categorization tasks. Psychological Science , 22 , 887-89 .
Schneider, I. K., Rutjens, B. T., Jostmann, N. B. , & Lakens, D. (2011). Weighty matters: Importance literally feels heavy. Social Psychological andPersonality Science, 2 , 474-478.
Jostmann, N. B. , Karremans, J., & Finkenauer, C. (2011). When love is not blind: Rumination impairs implicit affect regulation in response to romantic relationship threat. Cognition & Emotion , 25 , 506-518 .

Jostmann, N. B. , & Koole, S. L. (2010). Dealing with demands: The role of action versus state orientation. In R. Hoyle (Ed.), Handbook of personality and self-regulation (pp. 332-352). Oxford, UK : Wiley-Blackwell.  

Jostmann, N. B., Lakens, D., & Schubert, T. W. (2009). Weight as an embodiment of importance. Psychological Science, 20, 1169-1174 .

Jostmann, N. B.
, & Koole, S. L. (2009). When persistence is futile: A functional analysis of action orientation and goal disengagement. In G. B. Moskowitz and H. Grant (Eds.), The psychology of goals (pp. 337-361).  New York, USA : Guilford .
Smith, P. K., Jostmann, N. B. , Galinsky, A. D., & Van Dijk, W. W. (2008). Lacking power impairs executive functions. Psychological Science , 19, 441-447.
Jostmann, N. B. , & Koole, S. L. (2007). On the regulationof cognitive control: Action orientation moderates the impact of high demands in Stroop interference tasks. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General , 136 , 593-609. 
Jostmann, N. B. , & Koole, S. L. (2006). On the waxing and waning of working memory: Action orientation moderates the impact of demanding relationship primes on working memory capacity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin , 32 , 1716-1728.  
Koole, S. L., Kuhl. J., Jostmann, N. B. , & Finkenauer,C.(2006). Self-regulation in interpersonal relationships: The case of action versus state orientation. In K. D. Vohs & E. J. Finkel (Eds.), Self and relationships: Connecting intrapersonal and interpersonal processes (pp. 360-383). New York, USA: Guilford.  

Jostmann, N. B.
, Koole, S. L., Van der Wulp, N. Y., & Fockenberg, D. A. (2005). Subliminal Affect Regulation: The Moderating Role of Action versus State Orientation. European Psychologist , 10 ,209-217. 
Koole, S. L., Kuhl, J., Jostmann,N. B. ,& Vohs, K. D. (2005). On the hidden benefits of state orientation: Can people prosper without efficient affectregulation skills? In A. Tesser, J. Woods, & D. A. Stapel (Eds.), Psychological perspectives on the self (pp. 217-244). New York , USA : Psychology Press.  
Koole, S. L., & Jostmann, N. B. (2004). Getting a grip on your feelings: Effects of action orientation and external demands on intuitive affect regulation. Journal of Personality and SocialPsychology , 87 , 974-990.  

The weight importance effect

In 2009, my colleagues Daniel Lakens and Thomas Schubert and I published an article in Psychological Science in which we reported that participants who held a heavy compared to a light clipboard were found to assign more importance to questionnaires that were attached to the clipboard.
The studies received a lot of attention inside and outside academia and triggered - to our knowledge - quite some replication attempts.
We consider our work as preliminary and exploratory. We are genuinely interested to learn more about the nature and significance of the effect.
This site is the preliminary attempt (UNDER CONSTRUCTION) to collect all knowledge available including successful and failed replications, moderation, and theoretical explanations. We will update the information as much and as regularly as possible.
If you want to contribute (for instance by sending us your unpublished findings), please send us an email: n.b.jostmann@uva.nl
Peer-reviewed replications:
Non-peer-reviewed replications:








  • N.B. Jostmann, D. Lakens & T.W. Schubert (2009). Weight as an embodiment of importance. Psychological Science, 20 (9), 1169-1174. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02426.x
  • L.A. Dannenberg, N.B. Jostmann & J. Förster (2009). Zelfregulatie en illusoire gevoelens van zelfcausatie. Jaarboek Sociale Psychologie, 2009, 65-72.


  • D. Becker & N.B. Jostmann (2010). Motivatie vanuit je lichaam: het dragen van gewicht is geen last maar een lust. Jaarboek Sociale Psychologie, 2010, 31-38.


  • N.B. Jostmann & S.L. Koole (2009). When persistence is futile: a functional analysis of action orientation and goal disengagement. In G.B. Moskowitz & H. Grant (Eds.), The psychology of goals (pp. 337-361). New York: Guilford.


  • A. Sjoerdsma, N. Jostmann, A. Dijksterhuis & R.B. van Baaren (2009). Beter goed gejat dan slecht bedacht! Macht en onbewust plagiaat. Jaarboek Sociale Psychologie, 2009, 405-412.


  • N.B. Jostmann (2015). Co-organizer ASPO Conference 2015.
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