Fotograaf: Suzanne Oosterwijk

mw. dr. S. (Suzanne) Oosterwijk

  • Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
    Programmagroep: Social Psychology
  • Bezoekadres
    REC G
    Nieuwe Achtergracht 129  Kamernummer: 2.30
  • Postadres:
    Postbus  15900
    1001 NK  Amsterdam
    T: 0205251573

Research interests

Broadly, my research is aimed at understanding emotions and other subjective mental experiences. Within this topic I am specifically interested in the interplay between conceptual knowledge, context and bodily states. 

Morbid curiosity
My primary research interest is "morbid curiosity". Although we know from real life that people regularly approach and explore highly intense negative stimuli, we know very little about this phenomenon from the perspective of psychological science. In this research project, I study when people experience morbid curiosity and how this experience is represented in the brain and body. This project was funded by a NWO VENI grant. 

How the brain constructs emotion
In another line of work, I investigate how the brain constructs emotions and other mental states. I am particularly interested in the neural overlap between systems that generate emotional experiences in the self and systems that represent the emotional experiences of other people. 

The embodiment of emotion concepts
During my PhD project I examined the link between conceptual representations of emotion and bodily states. Based on embodied cognition theories I hypothesized that bodily states that occur during emotional experiences are simulated when people use emotion concepts or understand emotion language. This hypothesis was supported by several behavioral and physiological experiments. For example, I demonstrated that spontaneous bodily reactions occur when people think about emotion or process emotion language. More recently, I examined how neural systems implement different forms of simulation when people process emotional states and non-emotional states in language. 


I received my PhD from the University of Amsterdam in March 2011. Currently, I am working as a assistant professor at the Department of Social Psychology at the University of Amsterdam. I am a member of the Amsterdam Interdisciplinary Center for Emotions (AICE) and the Amsterdam Brain and Cognition center (ABC). In the past I worked with Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett at the Interdisciplinary Affective Science Laboratory (Northeastern University) in Boston. 



  • Oosterwijk, S., Lindquist, K. A., Adebayo, M., & Feldman Barrett, L. (2016). The neural representation of typical and atypical experiences of negative images: comparing fear, disgust and morbid fascination. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11(1), 11-22. DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsv088  [details] 
  • Wagenmakers, E-J., Beek, T., Dijkhoff, L., Gronau, Q. F., Acosta, A., Adams, R. B., ... Zwaan, R. A. (2016). Registered Replication Report: Strack, Martin, & Stepper (1988). Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11(6), 917-928. DOI: 10.1177/1745691616674458  [details] 


  • Oosterwijk, S., Mackey, S., Wilson-Mendenhall, C., Winkielman, P., & Paulus, M. P. (2015). Concepts in context: processing mental state concepts with internal or external focus involves different neural systems. Social Neuroscience, 10(3), 294-307. DOI: 10.1080/17470919.2014.998840  [details] 


  • Fischer, A. H., Eagly, A. H., & Oosterwijk, S. (2013). The meaning of tears: Which sex seems emotional depends on the social context. European Journal of Social Psychology, 43(6), 505-515. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.1974  [details] 
  • Lindquist, K. A., Gendron, M., Oosterwijk, S., & Barrett, L. F. (2013). Do people essentialize emotions? Individual differences in emotion essentialism and emotional experience. Emotion, 13(4), 629-644. DOI: 10.1037/a0032283  [details] 


  • Oosterwijk, S., Lindquist, K. A., Anderson, E., Dautoff, R., Moriguchi, Y., & Feldman Barrett, L. (2012). States of mind: emotions, body feelings, and thoughts share distributed neural networks. NeuroImage, 62(3), 2110-2128. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2012.05.079  [details] 
  • Oosterwijk, S., Winkielman, P., Pecher, D., Zeelenberg, R., Rotteveel, M., & Fischer, A. H. (2012). Mental states inside out: Switching costs for emotional and nonemotional sentences that differ in internal and external focus. Memory & Cognition, 40(1), 93-100. DOI: 10.3758/s13421-011-0134-8  [details] 


  • Oosterwijk, S., Topper, M., Rotteveel, M., & Fischer, A. H. (2010). When the mind forms fear: embodied fear knowledge potentiates bodily reactions. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 1(1), 65-72. DOI: 10.1177/1948550609355328  [details] 


  • Oosterwijk, S., Rotteveel, M., Fischer, A. H., & Hess, U. (2009). Embodied emotion concepts: How generating words about pride and disappointment influences posture. European Journal of Social Psychology, 39(3), 457-466. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.584  [details] 
  • Oosterwijk, S., Topper, M., Rotteveel, M., & Fischer, A. H. (2009). Wanneer we denken over angst, leeft ons lichaam mee. Jaarboek Sociale Psychologie, 2009, 329-340. [details] 


  • O'Brien, O., Oosterwijk, S., & Barrett, L. F. (2016). Where do people feel emotions in their body? A quantitative implementation of the Emotionally Vague project. In P. M. A. Desmet, S. F. Fokkinga, G. D. S. Ludden, N. Cila, & H. van Zuthem (Eds.), Celebration & Contemplation: 10th International Conference on Design & Emotion : 27-30 September 2016, Amsterdam (pp. 547-552). The Design & Emotion Society.


  • Oosterwijk, S., Touroutoglou, A., & Lindquist, K. A. (2015). The neuroscience of construction: what neuroimaging approaches can tell us about how the brain creates the mind. In L. Feldman Barrett, & J. A. Russell (Eds.), The psychological construction of emotion (pp. 111-143). New York: Guilford Press. [details] 


  • Oosterwijk, S., & Feldman Barret, L. (2014). Embodiment in the construction of emotion experience and emotion understanding. In L. Shapiro (Ed.), Routledge handbook of embodied cognition (pp. 250-260). (Routledge handbooks in philosophy). New York: Routledge. DOI: 10.4324/9781315775845.ch24  [details] 


  • van der Linden, M., Bosch, S., Francken, J., van Gaal, S., Manneke, A., Oosterwijk, S., & Ploeger, A. (2017). Hersenwerk: Neurowetenschappen in de 21ste eeuw. Amsterdam: Boom. [details] 



  • Oosterwijk, S. (2017). Incentive Fund Open Access.
  • Oosterwijk, S. (2017). Incentive Fund Open Acces.
  • Oosterwijk, S. (2013). Innovative Research Incentives Scheme VENI grant.
  • Oosterwijk, S. (2010). Early career best paper award 2009 from the European Journal of Social Psychology..

Wetenschappelijke positie

  • Oosterwijk, S. (2015). Organizing Committee: ASPO 2015 Conference, ASPO.


  • Oosterwijk, S. (02-02-2017). Interview on morbid curiosity. [Print] Helsingin Sanomat. Interview on morbid curiosity..
  • Oosterwijk, S. (13-07-2015). Interview over belichaamde emoties. [Radio] Funx radio. Interview over belichaamde emoties..


  • Oosterwijk, S. (organiser) & Noordewier, M. K. (organiser) (2014). Two-day track presented at the Kurt Lewin Institute (KLI) conference 2014, Zeist, the Netherlands. Emotion in the spotlight! (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
  • Oosterwijk, S. (organiser) & Bliss-Moreau, E. (organiser) (10-7-2014). Preconference presented prior to the European Association of Social Psychology (EASP) General Meeting of 2014, Amsterdam. Brain & Emotion (organising a conference, workshop, ...).
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