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Dr F. van Harreveld (1971) has been appointed professor of Social Cognition and Behavioural change in Relation to Sustainability and Safety at the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. The chair has in part been made possible by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

Frenk van Harreveld
Frenk van Harreveld (photo: PPLE, Nick Looy)

How do people cope with uncertainty? This question is a recurring theme in Frenk van Harreveld’s research. He studies how people experience uncertainty and how this influences their perceptions and behaviour. In his research on the impact of uncertainty on attitudes and decision-making, he examines a number of aspects such as ambivalence, decision reversibility, and regret. Other forms of uncertainty included in his research are risk perceptions and lack of control. In the context of his new chair, he will also conduct research on how risk-related feelings of uncertainty among the population influences people’s trust in experts and non-experts who engage in communications about these risks.

Van Harreveld teaches bachelor’s and master’s students in Psychology and students enrolled in the interdisciplinary Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (PPLE) Bachelor’s programme. He teaches the courses ‘Social Psychology, ‘Decision-Making’, and ‘Attitudes and Persuasion’. He also supervises students in their bachelor’s and master’s theses and internships. Van Harreveld was also a member of the development team for the PPLE Bachelor’s programme launched in 2014. Since 2018 he has held the position of Head of Studies of psychology at PPLE.

About Frenk van Harreveld

After obtaining his doctorate in 2001, Harreveld worked at the consultancy firm Accenture before returning to the UvA. At the UvA he successively held the positions of postdoc, assistant professor and associate professor at the Psychology department. Since 2018, he is also the coordinator of the ‘Perception and Behaviour’ strategic research programme at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). Van Harreeveld has also worked as a visiting lecturer at the University of California (Berkely, USA), the University of Massachusetts (Amherst, USA), and the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada).

Van Harreveld has received numerous research grants from various organisations, including the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), Achmea, and the UvA’s Amsterdam Brain and Cognition (ABC) research centre. He has frequently been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Psychological Inquiry, Psychological Science and Personality and Social Psychology Review.