My research examines the role of social interactions between individuals in the diffusion of information and the development of large-scale message effects in the context of health-related outcomes. To understand the complex interplay between social forces and message effects, I tailor multi-methodological approaches including neuroscientific methods like fMRI and social science techniques such as observational geolocation tracking, field experimentation, and survey methods to capture both detailed psychological mechanisms and real-world behavior. Using these methods, I have studied, among others, the neural and psychological mechanisms of decisions to share health-related information with others, the role played by these mechanisms in population-level sharing behavior, and the relationship between neural message processing and real-world effects of interpersonal communication on drinking behavior. Current projects focus on questions such as: How do interpersonal communication and social relationships influence the effectiveness of population-level health messaging and how can we design messages that optimize these social processes?; How does neural coupling between those who share information and their receivers impact the diffusion of information and the development population-level message effects?; What is the effect of repeated, real-world exposure to smoking cues on smoker's cigarette craving and neural cue reactivity?
My work has been supported by multiple international grants including an NWO Veni from the Dutch Science Foundation and a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship from the European Commission.
Find out more about our research on www.cobras-lab.com.
If you are a master's or bachelor's student in communication science, psychology, neuroscience, computer science, or another related field, who is interested in gaining hands-on research experience, please get in touch to learn more about ongoing projects and opportunities for participation (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Health Communication (Master)
Research Methods Tailored to the Thesis (Experiment; Master)
DCW3 Persuasive Communication (Bachelor)
Master Thesis Supervision Communication Science