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IPN2027 / PSY2027, the Research Practical

Thanks for visiting the course page of the Research Practical (IPN2027/PSY2027) 2021-2022. This is where you will be able to find lots of  course-related information in the coming weeks and months.  


14 March 2022: Preliminary allocation result


Preliminary Allocation Result  (Excel here)  v001 of 14 March 2022
Look up your assigned group number in these files.


If you and a fellow-student want to swap groups, do the following before the deadline of  Wednesday 16 March 2022 23.59hrs:
- make sure you are both happy with the swap ;-)
- send an email to psy2027-fpn@maastrichtuniversity.nl with both student IDs, names, and which groups you are switching.



Jump to descriptions:
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Dates & deadlines IPN2027 / PSY2027 2021-2022
Wed. 23 Februari 2022Descriptions available
 
 

Fri. 25 Februari 2022
16:25 hrs

E-mail with form link to all eligable students.

 

Wed. 9 March 2022
23:59 hrs

Deadline to submit your preferences
 
 
Mon. 14 March 2022Preliminary allocation available
Preliminary Allocation Result  (Excel here)  v001 of 14 March 2022
 
 

Mon. 14 March 2022 until
Wed. 16 March 23:59 hrs

Possibility to switch groups with a fellow student.
 
 
Fri. 15 March 2022Final* allocation to project groups
 
 
 

Conditional course booking possible

This course has two entry requirements: a pass for Statistics I and a pass for Methods and Techniques. Another course in this period, Statistics II, also has Statistics I as an entry requirement.

Given the current circumstances, the Board of Examiners (BoE) decided to allowed conditional course bookings: while waiting for the outcome of the resit for Statistics I, you can already take part in Statistics II and/or Research Practical this academic year.  Students that might benefit from this arrangement have been contacted by email.
 

Language

The Dutch and English programmes will be mixed and all groups and assignments will be in English.


Project Descriptions

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Group 1 - A cure for HIV – do we really need it or is it a waste of resources?.
Tutor: Tamika Marcos
 
Abstract: Ever since the start of the HIV epidemic in the 80s of the previous millennium, scientists have been working hard on improving the lives of those living with HIV. In more recent years, the focus of said scientists has shifted from treating people living with HIV (PLHIV) to curing PLHIV, but is a cure really necessary? PLHIV currently have a similar life expectancy as those without HIV, and are often seen as ‘otherwise healthy’. Furthermore, the quest to find a cure for HIV comes with great financial burdens. Should we invest our (financial) resources into curing a manageable infection or is it simply a waste of resources?

References:  • Power J, Dowsett GW, Westle A, Tucker JD, Hill S, Sugarman J, et al. (2020) The significance and expectations of HIV cure research among people living with HIV in Australia. PLoS ONE 15(3): e0229733. https://doi.org/10.1371/ journal.pone.0229733 •  Power J, Westle A, Dowsett GW, Lucke J, Tucker JD, Sugarman J, et al. Perceptions of HIV cure research among people living with HIV in Australia. PloS one. 2018; 13(8):e0202647. https://doi.org/10. 1371/journal.pone.0202647 PMID: 30142171 • Wu F, Zhang A, Babbitt A, Ma Q, Eyal N, Pan X, et al. Overcoming HIV stigma? A qualitative analysis of HIV cure research and stigma among men who have sex with men living with HIV. Arch Sex Behav. 2018; 47(7):2061–9. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-017-1062-x PMID: 29149399



Group 2 - Improve your grades and reduce study time: Use Cornell notes and retrieval practice!
Tutor: Sandra Wetzels

When studying, do you also highlight important text sections, summarize the text, or restudy it? And how does this work for you? Are your grades as high as you would like? Although these study techniques are extensively used, research has shown that they are not necessarily the most effective. A special type of note taking, Cornell notes, combined with retrieval practice in which you test your knowledge and understanding, might be more beneficial for long-term retention and self-regulated learning. But how can Cornell notes and retrieval practice be optimally implemented in your studying? Find out during the Research Practical!

References: • Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques: promising directions from cognitive and educational psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14, 4-58. • Friedman, M. C. (2014). Notes on note-taking: review of research and insights for students and instructors. Harvard Initiative for Learning and Teaching, Harvard University. • Reijners, P. B. G. (2016). Retrieval as a cognitive and metacognitive study technique to learn from expository text [Doctoral dissertation, Open University of the Netherlands]. Datawyse. • Roediger, H. L., & Karpicke, J. D. (2006). Test-enhanced learning: taking memory tests improves long-term retention. Psychological Science, 17(3), 249-255.



Group 3 - Narrative learning: Does learning a song enhance temporal memory and prediction?
Tutor: Vincent van de Ven

Songs have been part of human culture for many centuries. We process songs as auditory narratives, in which we temporally segment a song into “event clusters” based on perceived contextual changes during the song, such as changes from refrain to a chorus, lyrical vocals to instrumental solo or between different melodies. There is growing scientific evidence that temporal segmentation supports long-term memory formation, causal inference making and temporal prediction of “what happens next”. If true, then repeated song exposure (“narrative learning”) could enhance memory and temporal prediction of the song, but perhaps also of other information presented synchronously with the song (e.g., a visual clip or list of words). In this practical, we will investigate these issues using an online study design. Keywords are: Event segmentation, associative memory, narrative learning, temporal prediction and music perception.

References: • Brunec IK, Moscovitch M, Barense MD (2018) Boundaries Shape Cognitive Representations of Spaces and Events. Trends Cogn Sci 22:637–650. (Review of role of event boundaries in perception and memory) • Michelmann S, Price AR, Aubrey B, Strauss CK, Doyle WK, Friedman D, Dugan PC, Devinsky O, Devore S, Flinker A, Hasson U, Norman KA (2021) Moment-by-moment tracking of naturalistic learning and its underlying hippocampo-cortical interactions. Nat Commun 12:1–15. (One of very few examples of studies focusing on narrative learning) • Sridharan D, Levitin DJ, Chafe CH, Berger J, Menon V (2007) Neural Dynamics of Event Segmentation in Music: Converging Evidence for Dissociable Ventral and Dorsal Networks. Neuron 55:521–532. (Song segmentation study with fMRI) • van de Ven V, Kleuters G, Stuiver J (2021) Multisensory integration of contextual boundaries affects temporal order memory, but not encoding or recognition. psyArxiv. (Behavioral study of audio-visual segmentation in perception and memory)



Group 4 - Caffeine consumption and cigarette smoking as control conditions in research studies
Tutor: Pim Heckman

Most experimental studies conducted in our department ask participants to refrain from use of caffeinated beverages and cigarette smoking for a limited time prior to the start of a test day. However, the consensus regarding whether this entails good scientific practice is currently lacking. On the one hand, it is suggested that we need to limit all factors that can be of influence on the final study outcomes except for our experimental manipulations. On the other hand, asking participants to refrain from caffeine or cigarette consumption might negatively influence their outcome if they are used to it. The aim of this research project is to investigate the potential positive or negative influence associated with caffeine and/or cigarette consumption or abstinence before cognitive testing.

References: • Lorist, M.M., and Tops, M. (2003). Caffeine, fatigue, and cognition. Brain Cogn 53, 82-94. •  Valentine, G., and Sofuoglu, M. (2018). Cognitive Effects of Nicotine: Recent Progress. Curr Neuropharmacol 16, 403-414. • Zhang, R.C., and Madan, C.R. (2021). How does caffeine influence memory? Drug, experimental, and demographic factors. Neurosci Biobehav Rev 131, 525-538.



Group 5 - Interfering with spatial episodic memory
Tutor: Mark Roberts

Although time is continuous, we experience life as a series of discrete events. Why? Neuroimaging studies show that the end of each event is marked by a burst of activity in the hippocampus [Ben-Yakov et al 2013, Baldassano et al 2017], however what this activity represents and what its function might be is unknown. One idea is that the brain replays [e.g. Schapiro et al 2018] what just happened as the first step in the process of storing the event into memory. In this project we will use a 3D game environment [Vorhees and Williams 2014] to test this idea.

References
• Ben-Yakov A., Eshel N., and Dudai Y. (2013). Hippocampal Immediate Poststimulus Activity in the Encoding of Consecutive Naturalistic Episodes. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Vol. 142, No. 4, 1255–1263 • Baldassano C., Chen J., Zadbood A., Pillow J.W., Hasson U., Norman K.A. (2017). Discovering Event Structure in Continuous Narrative Perception and Memory. Neuron 95, 709–721 • Schapiro A.C., McDevitt E.A., Rogers T.T., Mednick S.C. Norman K.A. (2018). Human hippocampal replay during rest prioritizes weakly learned information and predicts memory performance. Nature communications 9, Article number: 3920 • Vorhees C.V., Williams M.T. 2014. Value of water mazes for assessing spatial and egocentric learning and memory in rodent basic research and regulatory studies. Neurotoxicol Teratol 45 75-90




Group 6 - Food for thought: Are picky eaters biased in their cognition?
Tutor: Anouk van den Brand

We all know someone who is picky in their eating – someone who does not eat vegetables, does not want their foods to be mixed, or never wants to try new foods. How can we explain this behavior? Research suggests that picky eating and food neophobia (i.e. the avoidance of new foods) may be related to anxiety, as they share a similar physiological response and can both be diminished with exposure treatment. Important factors in the development and maintenance of anxiety are information-processing biases. Could these biases also play a role in picky eating behaviour? In this practical, we will examine the relationship between anxiety, interpretation bias, and picky eating.

References: • Maratos, F. A., & Sharpe, E. E. (2018). The origins of disordered eating and childhood food neophobia: Applying an anxiety perspective. In Food neophobia (pp. 305-328). Elsevier. • Schoth, D. E., & Liossi, C. (2017). A systematic review of experimental paradigms for exploring biased interpretation of ambiguous information with emotional and neutral associations. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 171. • Maratos, F. A., & Staples, P. (2015). Attentional biases towards familiar and unfamiliar foods in children. The role of food neophobia. Appetite, 91, 220-225. • Dibbets, P., Borger, L., & Nederkoorn, C. (2021). Filthy fruit! Confirmation bias and novel food. Appetite, 167, 105607.



Group 7 - Why do (or don’t) people do this healthy behavior?
Tutor: Louk Peters

Educational interventions intend to modify people’s behavior, e.g. to promote a certain health behavior. Such interventions need to be based on insight into the behavior itself and into why people do or do not perform it: which modifiable underlying factors are most important in explaining the behavior? In this practical you will conduct research to identify which underlying factors of a (self-chosen*) health behavior are most important for a (self-chosen*) target Group . And based on your results, what would be implications for designing an intervention to promote the health behavior?
(*self-chosen but needs to be approved by the supervisor)

References: • Kok , G., Schaalma , H., De Vries , H., Parcel, G., & Paulussen, T. (1996) Social psychology and health education. European Review of Social Psychology, 7(1), 241-282. DOI:10.1080/14792779643000038 • McEachan, R. R. C., Conner, M., Taylor, N. J., & Lawton, R. J. (2011). Prospective prediction of health-related behaviours with the Theory of Planned Behaviour: A meta-analysis. Health Psychology Review, 5(2), 97–144. https://doi.org/10.1080/17437199.2010.521684 • Armitage, C. J., & Conner, M. (2001). Efficacy of the theory of planned behaviour: A meta‐analytic review. British journal of social psychology, 40(4), 471-499. https://doi.org/10.1348/014466601164939 • Varol, T., Schneider, F., Mesters, I., Ruiter, R. A., Kok, G., & ten Hoor, G. (2021). Facilitating informed decision making: Determinants of university students’ COVID-19 vaccine uptake. (Preprint, under review)



Group 8 - Feeling stared at?
Tutor: Arjan Blokland

The famous Psychologist E.B. Titchener published an article in Science about the claim that people claim that they feel that they are being stared at. Although he came to the conclusion that this phenomenon had no scientific basis, there are still some unresolved issues with this phenomenon (see https://www.researchgate.net/publication/239785094_Follow-Up_Research_On...). Therefore, a good and solid design is needed to find out whether people have the ability to feel that they are being stared at. In this project we could possibly also test potential variables that could mediate the effects of feeling stared at. One could think about neuroticism, or personal sensitivity.

References:• Baker, R.A. 2000. Can we tell when someone is staring at us? Skeptical Inquirer 24 (2): 34-40; • Schlitz, M., and S. LaBerge, S.. 1997. Covert observation increases skin conductance in subjects unaware of when they are being observed: a replication. Journal of Parapsychology 61: 185-195; • Sheldrake, R. 1998a. The sense of being stared at: experiments in schools. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research 62: 311-323.



Group 9 - Why do (or don’t) people do this sustainability behavior?
Tutor: Louk Peters

Educational interventions intend to modify people’s behavior, e.g. to promote a certain sustainability behavior. Such interventions need to be based on insight into the behavior itself and into why people do or do not perform it: which modifiable underlying factors are most important in explaining the behavior? In this practical you will conduct research to identify which underlying factors of a (self-chosen*) sustainability behavior are most important for a (self-chosen*) target Group . And based on your results, what would be implications for designing an intervention to promote the sustainability behavior? (*self-chosen but needs to be approved by the supervisor)

References: • Kok , G., Schaalma , H., De Vries , H., Parcel, G., & Paulussen, T. (1996) Social psychology and health education. European Review of Social Psychology, 7(1), 241-282. DOI:10.1080/14792779643000038 • McEachan, R. R. C., Conner, M., Taylor, N. J., & Lawton, R. J. (2011). Prospective prediction of health-related behaviours with the Theory of Planned Behaviour: A meta-analysis. Health Psychology Review, 5(2), 97–144. https://doi.org/10.1080/17437199.2010.521684 • Armitage, C. J., & Conner, M. (2001). Efficacy of the theory of planned behaviour: A meta‐analytic review. British journal of social psychology, 40(4), 471-499. https://doi.org/10.1348/014466601164939 • O'Connor, E. L., Sims, L., & White, K. M. (2017). Ethical food choices: Examining people’s Fair Trade purchasing decisions. Food Quality and Preference, 60, 105-112, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2017.04.001



Group 10 - A mindful student = a happy student
Tutor: Alicia Walkowiak

Many studies in the field of work & organizational psychology have shown beneficial effects of mindfulness on stress, mood and fatigue among other things. We know from the literature that a short mindfulness intervention can decrease levels of fatigue of employees and can lead to better psychological detachment from work. In this research project, we will set up a short mindfulness intervention to see if mindfulness can also help students to better deal with stress and we will study related mechanisms, for example the role of mood.

References:  • Hülsheger, U. R., Lang, J. W., Depenbrock, F., Fehrmann, C., Zijlstra, F. R., & Alberts, H. J. (2014). The power of presence: the role of mindfulness at work for daily levels and change trajectories of psychological detachment and sleep quality. Journal of Applied Psychology, 99(6), 1113. • Rook, J. W., & Zijlstra, F. R. (2006). The contribution of various types of activities to recovery. European journal of work and organizational psychology, 15(2), 218-240. • Sonnentag, S., Binnewies, C., & Mojza, E. J. (2008). " Did you have a nice evening?" A day-level study on recovery experiences, sleep, and affect. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(3), 674.



Group 11 - Conditioning: learning from reward and punishment
Tutor: Laurens Kemp

Conditioning is a fundamental process through which both humans and other animals learn and modify their behavior. It can govern our behaviors in many situations, ranging from our eating habits (like wanting to eat popcorn at the movie theater) to our long-term planning (like putting off a visit to the dentist). What are the mechanisms that make these associations influence our behavior, and how can we use this knowledge to improve people’s mental health and well-being?

References: • De Houwer, J., Tackett, J., & Carter, J. (2020). Conditioning is more than association formation: On the different ways in which conditioning research is valuable for clinical psychology. Collabra: Psychology, 6(1). • van den Akker, K., Schyns, G., & Jansen, A. (2018). Learned overeating: applying principles of pavlovian conditioning to explain and treat overeating. Current addiction reports, 5(2), 223-231. • Drummond, D. C., Tiffany, S. T., Glautier, S., & Remington, B. (1995). Cue exposure in understanding and treating addictive behaviours.



Group 12 - Understanding COVID-19 vaccination hesitancy across the Netherlands: a small area estimation approach
Tutor: Haoyi Wang

COVID-19 pandemic can currently pose a serious health threat and can lead to severe health outcomes, especially for populations with higher risks. With the current available COVID-19 vaccines, a major proportion of severe cases can be prevented. Yet, in the Netherlands, a minor proportion of the population refused being vaccinated due to various reasons. Which psycho-social/demographic/epidemiological determinants may help us to understand this phenomenon? Are there any differences across the Netherlands? The small area estimation approach may help!

References: • Cordes, J., & Castro, M. C. (2020). Spatial analysis of COVID-19 clusters and contextual factors in New York City. Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology, 34, 100355. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sste.2020.100355 • Sanders, J. G., Spruijt, P., van Dijk, M., Elberse, J., Lambooij, M. S., Kroese, F. M., & de Bruin, M. (2021). Understanding a national increase in COVID-19 vaccination intention, the Netherlands, November 2020-March 2021. Euro surveillance : bulletin Europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin, 26(36), 2100792. https://doi.org/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2021.26.36.2100792 • Wang, H., & Jonas, K. J. (2021). The likelihood of severe COVID-19 outcomes among PLHIV with various comorbidities: a comparative frequentist and Bayesian meta-analysis approach [https://doi.org/10.1002/jia2.25841]. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 24(11), e25841. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1002/jia2.25841



Group 13 - Ending HIV epidemic by 2030 in the Netherlands: what should we do?
Tutor: Haoyi Wang

As posited by the United Nations’ goals, efforts should be made to accelerate eliminating HIV by 2030. Is it possible for the Netherlands to end the HIV epidemic by 2030? To reach this goal, what have the Netherlands done and how can the Netherlands improve to help reach this goal?
References: • Marsh, K., Eaton, J. W., Mahy, M., Sabin, K., Autenrieth, C. S., Wanyeki, I., Daher, J., & Ghys, P. D. (2019). Global, regional and country-level 90-90-90 estimates for 2018: assessing progress towards the 2020 target. AIDS (London, England), 33 Suppl 3(Suppl 3), S213-S226. https://doi.org/10.1097/QAD.0000000000002355 • UNAIDS. (2014). Fast-track: Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 [Online]. Geneva: UNAIDS. http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/JC2686_WAD2014report_en.pdf



Group 14 - Student’s (mental) health during Covid-19
Tutor: Lizette Krist

Leaving one phase of life and moving into another is never easy, and the Corona pandemic has complicated the already difficult transfer. The study period is one such example. With it comes the challenge to know when to ask for help, and where to get it. In this project we want to investigate how students navigate their (mental) health needs during Covid-19. In this research Group you will design an assessment of the effects of Covid-19 on students’ mental health.

References: • Koelen, J. A., Mansueto, A. C., Finnemann, A., de Koning, L., van der Heijde, C. M., Vonk, P., Wolters, N. E., Klein, A., Epskamp, S., & Wiers, R. W. (2021). COVID-19 and mental health among at-risk university students: A prospective study into risk and protective factors. International journal of methods in psychiatric research, e1901. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1002/mpr.1901  •  van der Velden, P. G., Contino, C., Das, M., van Loon, P., & Bosmans, M. (2020). Anxiety and depression symptoms, and lack of emotional support among the general population before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. A prospective national study on prevalence and risk factors. Journal of affective disorders, 277, 540–548. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2020.08.026 • Krifa, I., van Zyl, L. E., Braham, A., Ben Nasr, S., & Shankland, R. (2022). Mental Health during COVID-19 Pandemic: The Role of Optimism and Emotional Regulation. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(3), 1413. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031413



Group 15 - Sexual health during Covid-19
Tutor: Lizette Krist

How do you hook up during a pandemic? Covid-19 has had an impact on every aspect of our lives, including sex. In this research project you will design an assessment on how sex and sexual health has changed because of the pandemic.

References: •  Coombe, J., Kong, F., Bittleston, H., Williams, H., Tomnay, J., Vaisey, A., Malta, S., Goller, J. L., Temple-Smith, M., Bourchier, L., Lau, A., Chow, E., & Hocking, J. S. (2021). Love during lockdown: findings from an online survey examining the impact of COVID-19 on the sexual health of people living in Australia. Sexually transmitted infections, 97(5), 357–362. https://doi.org/10.1136/sextrans-2020-054688 • Balzarini, R. N., Muise, A., Zoppolat, G., Gesselman, A. N., Lehmiller, J. J., Garcia, J. R., … Mark, K. (2021, March 26). Sexual Desire in the Time of COVID-19: How COVID-Related Stressors are Associated with Sexual Desire in Romantic Relationships. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/nxkgp •  Ellakany, P., Zuñiga, R., El Tantawi, M., Brown, B., Aly, N. M., Ezechi, O., Uzochukwu, B., Abeldaño, G. F., Ara, E., Ayanore, M. A., Gaffar, B., Al-Khanati, N. M., Ishabiyi, A. O., Jafer, M., Khan, A. T., Khalid, Z., Lawal, F. B., Lusher, J., Nzimande, N. P., Osamika, B. E., … Folayan, M. O. (2022). Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on student' sleep patterns, sexual activity, screen use, and food intake: A global survey. PloS one, 17(1), e0262617. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0262617 • Jongen, V. W., Zimmermann, H., Boyd, A., Hoornenborg, E., van den Elshout, M., Davidovich, U., van Duijnhoven, Y., de Vries, H., Prins, M., Schim van der Loeff, M. F., Coyer, L., & Amsterdam PrEP Project team in the HIV Transmission Elimination Amsterdam Initiative (2021). Transient Changes in Preexposure Prophylaxis Use and Daily Sexual Behavior After the Implementation of COVID-19 Restrictions Among Men Who Have Sex With Men. Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999), 87(5), 1111–1118. https://doi.org/10.1097/QAI.0000000000002697



Group 16 - Determinants of study success
Tutor: Joyce Neroni

Some students make studying seem very easy and pass exams with high grades. Others struggle and barely pass their study, or even fail or drop out. Is it just a matter of difference in how many hours someone studies and how much effort is given? Or are there also internal factors that might play a role here? In this correlational research, you will focus on possible factors related to study success. The direction of this research and the corresponding research question depends on the interests of the students.

References: • Brouwer, J., Jansen, E., Hofman, A., & Flache, A. (2016). Early tracking of finally leaving? Determinants of early study success in first-year university students. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 21(4), 376–393. https://doi.org/10.1080/13596748.2016.1226584 • Tinto, V. (1975). Dropout from Higher Education: A Theoretical Synthesis of Recent Research. Review of Educational Research, 45(1), 89-125.



Group 17 - Colors and performance
Tutor: Joyce Neroni

It is well known that colors can have an effect on our mood and emotions. That is why advertisers make use of certain colors all the time. But could it be that colors have an impact on performance as well? Some people claim that the color green increases concentration, while others say that the color yellow is linked to better performance on a test. Which color is the best for your test results? Within this research, you are challenged to design an experiment to test in what way colors are related to performance on a task.

References: • Elliot, A. J. (2015). Color and psychological functioning: A review of theoretical and empirical work. Frontiers in Psychology, 6:368. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00368



Group 18 - Stress relief and improvement of mental well-being
Tutor: Joyce Neroni

Students are often under a lot of stress, especially in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. All this stress can have a negative influence on our mental well-being. I want to encourage students to come up with ideas on how to contribute to lower the stress and heighten the mental well-being. The direction of this research and the corresponding research question depends on the interests of the students.

References: • Lupe, S. E., Keefer, L., & Szigethy, E. (2020). Gaining resilience and reducing stress in the age of COVID-19. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology, 36(4), 295–303. https://doi.org/10.1097/MOG.0000000000000646



Group 19 - Comparisons on social media, self esteem and body image
Tutor: Bianca Hendriks

Social media is becoming a popular pastime. We use it to keep in touch with our friends, to make new friends or to keep up to date with the rest of the world. We check what other people are doing and share with other people what we are doing, lately, the most normal thing in the world. Social media has gained popularity in a short timespan, and we adjusted to its emergence. How does this influence us? How do we feel about millions of people having an opinion of our appearances and activities? How do we look at other people, and so we compare them with ourselves? In this research project we are going to look at the impact that social media has on our own image, in which you are free to choose the specific factors and directions.

References: • Kross, E., Verduyn, P., Sheppes, G., Costello, C. K., Jonides, J., & Ybarra, O. (2021). Social media and well-being: Pitfalls, progress, and next steps. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 25(1), 55-66. • Apaolaza, V., Hartmann, P., D'Souza, C., & Gilsanz, A. (2019). Mindfulness, compulsive mobile social media use, and derived stress: The mediating roles of self-esteem and social anxiety. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 22(6), 388-396. • Falavarjani, S. A. M., Zarrinkalam, F., Jovanovic, J., Bagheri, E., & Ghorbani, A. A. (2019). The reflection of offline activities on users’ online social behavior: An observational study. Information Processing & Management, 56(6), 102070. • Mills, J. S., Musto, S., Williams, L., & Tiggemann, M. (2018). “Selfie” harm: Effects on mood and body image in young women. Body image, 27, 86-92.



Group 20 - Social media and psychological well-being.
Tutor: Bianca Hendriks

Social media is becoming a popular pastime. We use it to keep in touch with our friends, to make new friends or to keep up to date with the rest of the world. Some of us spend hours a day scrolling through pages and posting selfies, whilst others barely keep up their accounts. Is there a difference between these two types of people and could this potential difference reflect in our psychological well-being? Does scrolling through pages help you relax, or does it elevate your stress levels? In this research project we are going to look at the impact that social media has on our psychological well-being, in which you are free to choose the specific factors and directions.

References: • Kross, E., Verduyn, P., Sheppes, G., Costello, C. K., Jonides, J., & Ybarra, O. (2021). Social media and well-being: Pitfalls, progress, and next steps. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 25(1), 55-66.
Apaolaza, V., Hartmann, P., D'Souza, C., & Gilsanz, A. (2019). Mindfulness, compulsive mobile social media use, and derived stress: The mediating roles of self-esteem and social anxiety. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 22(6), 388-396. • Falavarjani, S. A. M., Zarrinkalam, F., Jovanovic, J., Bagheri, E., & Ghorbani, A. A. (2019). The reflection of offline activities on users’ online social behavior: An observational study. Information Processing & Management, 56(6), 102070. • Mills, J. S., Musto, S., Williams, L., & Tiggemann, M. (2018). “Selfie” harm: Effects on mood and body image in young women. Body image, 27, 86-92.




Group 21 - Social media and offline social behavior.
Tutor: Bianca Hendriks

Social media is becoming a popular pastime. We use it to keep in touch with our friends, to make new friends or to keep up to date with the rest of the world. Social media has gained popularity in a short timespan, and we adjusted to its emergence quickly. This raises the question if our online behavior changes our offline behavior. Is social media a helpful tool for our ‘real world’ social interactions or do we become more to ourselves? Do we avoid meeting people in real life as we already spoke to them online? In this research project we are going to look at the impact that social media has on our social behavior, in which you are free to choose the specific factors and directions.

References: • Kross, E., Verduyn, P., Sheppes, G., Costello, C. K., Jonides, J., & Ybarra, O. (2021). Social media and well-being: Pitfalls, progress, and next steps. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 25(1), 55-66.
Apaolaza, V., Hartmann, P., D'Souza, C., & Gilsanz, A. (2019). Mindfulness, compulsive mobile social media use, and derived stress: The mediating roles of self-esteem and social anxiety. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 22(6), 388-396. • Falavarjani, S. A. M., Zarrinkalam, F., Jovanovic, J., Bagheri, E., & Ghorbani, A. A. (2019). The reflection of offline activities on users’ online social behavior: An observational study. Information Processing & Management, 56(6), 102070.  • Mills, J. S., Musto, S., Williams, L., & Tiggemann, M. (2018). “Selfie” harm: Effects on mood and body image in young women. Body image, 27, 86-92.




Group 22 - Improving motivation through feelings of relatedness – what's working and what isn't?
Tutor: Thomas Gültzow

Improving the motivation of individuals to engage in behaviour or not is one of the most important goals when it comes to changing behaviour and many people strive to improve individuals' motivation. While many people speak of a lot or little motivation, promoting intrinsic or autonomous motivation is becoming an increasingly 'hot topic'. Within this project, a Group of students will look at whether people's motivation(s) becomes more intrinsic or autonomous when techniques are applied to increase feelings of relatedness.

References: • Ryan, R. M., Patrick, H., Deci, E. L., & Williams, G. C. (2008). Facilitating health behaviour change and its maintenance: Interventions based on self-determination theory. The European health psychologist, 10(1), 2-5. •  Teixeira, P. J., Marques, M. M., Silva, M. N., Brunet, J., Duda, J. L., Haerens, L., ... & Hagger, M. S. (2020). A classification of motivation and behavior change techniques used in self-determination theory-based interventions in health contexts. Motivation science, 6(4), 438.  • Ng, J. Y., Ntoumanis, N., Thøgersen-Ntoumani, C., Deci, E. L., Ryan, R. M., Duda, J. L., & Williams, G. C. (2012). Self-determination theory applied to health contexts: A meta-analysis. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(4), 325-340.



Group 23 - Improving motivation through feelings of autonomy – what's working and what isn't?
Tutor: Thomas Gültzow

Improving the motivation of individuals to engage in behaviour or not is one of the most important goals when it comes to changing behaviour and many people strive to improve individuals' motivation. While many people speak of a lot or little motivation, promoting intrinsic or autonomous motivation is becoming an increasingly 'hot topic'. Within this project, a Group of students will look at whether people's motivation(s) becomes more intrinsic or autonomous when techniques are applied to increase feelings of autonomy.

References:• Ryan, R. M., Patrick, H., Deci, E. L., & Williams, G. C. (2008). Facilitating health behaviour change and its maintenance: Interventions based on self-determination theory. The European health psychologist, 10(1), 2-5. • Teixeira, P. J., Marques, M. M., Silva, M. N., Brunet, J., Duda, J. L., Haerens, L., ... & Hagger, M. S. (2020). A classification of motivation and behavior change techniques used in self-determination theory-based interventions in health contexts. Motivation science, 6(4), 438. • Ng, J. Y., Ntoumanis, N., Thøgersen-Ntoumani, C., Deci, E. L., Ryan, R. M., Duda, J. L., & Williams, G. C. (2012). Self-determination theory applied to health contexts: A meta-analysis. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(4), 325-340.



Group 24 - Improving motivation through feelings of competence – what's working and what isn't?
Tutor: Thomas Gültzow

Improving the motivation of individuals to engage in behaviour or not is one of the most important goals when it comes to changing behaviour and many people strive to improve individuals' motivation. While many people speak of a lot or little motivation, promoting intrinsic or autonomous motivation is becoming an increasingly 'hot topic'. Within this project, a Group of students will look at whether people's motivation(s) becomes more intrinsic or autonomous when techniques are applied to increase feelings of competence.

References: • Ryan, R. M., Patrick, H., Deci, E. L., & Williams, G. C. (2008). Facilitating health behaviour change and its maintenance: Interventions based on self-determination theory. The European health psychologist, 10(1), 2-5. • Teixeira, P. J., Marques, M. M., Silva, M. N., Brunet, J., Duda, J. L., Haerens, L., ... & Hagger, M. S. (2020). A classification of motivation and behavior change techniques used in self-determination theory-based interventions in health contexts. Motivation science, 6(4), 438. • Ng, J. Y., Ntoumanis, N., Thøgersen-Ntoumani, C., Deci, E. L., Ryan, R. M., Duda, J. L., & Williams, G. C. (2012). Self-determination theory applied to health contexts: A meta-analysis. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 7(4), 325-340.



Group 25 - Solving Sleep
Tutor: Tom Smejka

As a university student, I’m sure you’re getting regular, high quality sleep every night, but unfortunately, this is not the case for quite a few other people. Current survey data shows that around a third of adults have problems with their sleep. Therefore, developing and implementing improvement techniques is widely useful. There are a wide range of techniques that exist for aiding sleep including: sleep hygiene practices, CBT programmes and even ASMR. In this topic you will be able to investigate sleep problems and improvement techniques – a topic so fulfilling, it’ll help you sleep at night.

References:• Chattu, V. K., Manzar, M. D., Kumary, S., Burman, D., Spence, D. W., & Pandi-Perumal, S. R. (2019, March). The global problem of insufficient sleep and its serious public health implications. In Healthcare (Vol. 7, No. 1, p. 1). Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute. • Kerkhof, G. A. (2017). Epidemiology of sleep and sleep disorders in The Netherlands. Sleep medicine, 30, 229-239. • Smejka, T., & Wiggs, L. (2022). The effects of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) videos on arousal and mood in adults with and without depression and insomnia. Journal of affective disorders, 301, 60-67.



Group 26 - Eat’s not quite as eat seems (exploring food processing tasks)
Tutor: Iara Almeida

Eating disorders like Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN) and Binge Eating Disorder (BED) are psychiatric illnesses with a severe impact on public health. All eating disorders are characterized by a combination of disturbances in body image and maladaptive eating behaviors. But how exactly is food processed by healthy brains? And how do these disturbances occur for eating disorders
From cognitive control to reward and affective processing, the precise nature of food intake mechanisms are inconclusive. However, neuroimaging studies suggest that acute changes in mood can modulate (and therefore disturb) both cognitive control and the salience of reward in eating disorders. We will explore different processing tasks to try and understand which markers might effectively target them.

References: • Wonderlich, J. A., Bershad, M., & Steinglass, J. E. (2021). Exploring Neural Mechanisms Related to Cognitive Control, Reward, and Affect in Eating Disorders: A Narrative Review of FMRI Studies. Neuropsychiatric disease and treatment, 17, 2053. • Lloyd, E. C., & Steinglass, J. E. (2018). What can food-image tasks teach us about anorexia nervosa? A systematic review. Journal of Eating Disorders, 6(1), 1-18. • Berner, L. A., Winter, S. R., Matheson, B. E., Benson, L., & Lowe, M. R. (2017). Behind binge eating: a review of food-specific adaptations of neurocognitive and neuroimaging tasks. Physiology & behavior, 176, 59-70.  • Walsh, B. T. (2011). The importance of eating behavior in eating disorders. Physiology & behavior, 104(4), 525-529.



Group 27 - Self-help EMDR: digital trauma therapy to get rid of bad memories
Tutors: Max Colombi & Tjeu Theunissen

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is hot and booming, being the first choice evidence-based treatment for PTSD. Research on EMDR has grown exponentially over the last decade. Unfortunately, there are significantly more people with traumas worldwide that need treatment than there are available trauma therapists. Self-help trauma-treatment tools could be a solution for the many barriers that exist for people to access their needed care. Although promising, little research (yet) exists on digital self-help EMDR. More research is needed to test the effectiveness and safety of such a tool before its introduction in clinical practice. In this research you will be one of the first to research a new developed self-help EMDR smartphone application. Your research will make a direct contribution to the app's validation and could have a significant positive impact on the mental health of many people who are suffering from traumatic memories.

References: • van den Hout, M. A., & Engelhard, I. M. (2012). How does EMDR work?. Journal of Experimental Psychopathology, 3(5), 724-738. • Sander, L. B., Schorndanner, J., Terhorst, Y., Spanhel, K., Pryss, R., Baumeister, H., & Messner, E. M. (2020). ‘Help for trauma from the app stores?’A systematic review and standardised rating of apps for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). European journal of psychotraumatology, 11(1), 1701788. • Waterman, L. Z., & Cooper, M. (2020). Self-administered EMDR therapy: potential solution for expanding the availability of psychotherapy for PTSD or unregulated recipe for disaster?. BJPsych open, 6(6).



Group 28 - Picky eaters – do they like to play it safe?
Tutor: Anouk Hendriks

Some children (and adults) reject food without even trying it, or restrict their food intake to such a great extent that their dietary variety is greatly impaired. Children and adults who are food neophobic reject unfamiliar foods, while picky eaters reject a great number of both familiar and unfamiliar foods, resulting in a dietary pattern with limited food variety. Why do these picky eaters and food neophobics reject familiar or unfamiliar foods? Are they simply more afraid of negative experiences or intolerant to unpleasant taste? And would they also play it safe in other domains of life? Find out in this project.

References: • Dovey, T. M., Staples, P. A., Gibson, E. L., & Halford, J. C. G. (2008). Food neophobia and “picky/fussy” eating in children: A review. Appetite, 50(2–3), 181–193. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2007.09.009 • Gao, S., Wei, Y., Bai, J., Lin, C., & Li, H. (2009). Young children’s affective decision-making in a gambling task: Does difficulty in learning the gain/loss schedule matter? Cognitive Development, 24(2), 183–191. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2008.07.006 • Vervoort, L., Vandeweghe, L., Vandewalle, J., Van Durme, K., Vandevivere, E., Wante, L., McIntosh, K., Verbeken, S., Moens, E., Goossens, L., & Braet, C. (2015). Measuring Punishment and Reward Sensitivity in children and adolescents with a parent-report version of the Bis/Bas-scales. Personality and Individual Differences, 87, 272–277. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.08.024



Group 29 - Mood for Food: The influence of mindset on taste perception
Tutor: Sieske Franssen

A person can alternate between food-related mindsets, which in turn may depend on one’s emotional state or situation. Being in a certain mindset can influence food-related thoughts. Research has shown that labels (e.g. “healthy” or “hedonic”) can influence food expectations and eating behaviour, for example, one would tend to eat more when expecting less calories. In this project, we want to examine if eating behaviour can also be influenced by a more general mindset (e.g. enjoyment versus health)? And does the food actually taste better when you are in a more hedonic state of mind?

References: • Crum, A. J., Corbin, W. R., Brownell, K. D., & Salovey, P. (2011). Mind over milkshakes: Mindsets, not just nutrients, determine ghrelin response. Health Psychology, 30(4), 424–429. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0023467 • Gravel, K., Doucet, É., Peter Herman, C., Pomerleau, S., Bourlaud, A. S., & Provencher, V. (2012). “Healthy,” “diet,” or “hedonic”. How nutrition claims affect food-related perceptions and intake? Appetite, 59(3), 877–884. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2012.08.028 • Provencher, V., & Jacob, R. (2016). Impact of Perceived Healthiness of Food on Food Choices and Intake. Current Obesity Reports, 5(1), 65–71. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13679-016-0192-0 • Roefs, A., Franssen, S., & Jansen, A. (2018). The dynamic nature of food reward processing in the brain. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 21(6), 444–448. https://doi.org/10.1097/MCO.0000000000000504



Group 30 - Morality in the Social Context - Choosing to Save a Potential Mate over Five Strangers
Tutor: Svea Meier

Have you ever heard of the famous Trolley experiment? A trolley is running out of control down a track. In its path are five people who have been tied to the track by a madman. Fortunately, you can flip a switch that will lead the trolley down a different track to safety. Unfortunately, there is a single person tied to that track. Would you flip the switch?
This thought experiment has been used by several studies to test the participants' moral decision making. Are you interested in figuring out what might influence the moral decision making of people? Can we influence the decisions by changing the parameters e.g. are we more likely to save our kin or potential romantic partner? In this practical we will create a study that investigates moral decision making in the broader context of an evolutionary psychological framework.

References: • Bereczkei, T. (2000). Evolutionary psychology: a new perspective in the behavioral sciences. European Psychologist, 5(3), 175–190. https://doi.org/10.1027//1016-9040.5.3.175 • Bleske-Rechek, A., Nelson, L. A., Baker, J. P., Remiker, M. W., & Brandt, S. J. (2010). Evolution and the trolley problem: people save five over one unless the one is young, genetically related, or a romantic partner. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 4(3), 115–127. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0099295 • Cikara, M., Farnsworth, R. A., Harris, L. T., & Fiske, S. T. (2010). On the wrong side of the trolley track: Neural correlates of relative social valuation. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 5(4), 404-413



Group 31 - Tragedy of the commons - Do we go extinct?
Tutor: Svea Meier

In his famous essay Hardin stated that common resources will always be exploited by self-interested individuals. A common resource is a resource everyone depends on but some might profit more from it by exploiting it. The depletion of natural resources is one example of a common resource problem. Our fisheries are being exploited and the rivers, sea and air are being polluted. Does this mean our species will go extinct or do we find a solution to the most pressing problems of our time? Is the tension between public and private benefit too extreme? Ostrom challenged Hardin´s approach and showed examples of cooperation that found solutions to the problem of the commons. Additionally, evolution has shown that the most adapted of a species will survive. Can we identify parameters that will influence the cooperative behavior of humans? With the public goods game it is possible to study mutual cooperation of participants. In this practical we will create a study that investigates cooperative decision making in the broader context of an evolutionary psychological framework.

References: • Bereczkei, T. (2000). Evolutionary psychology: a new perspective in the behavioral sciences. European Psychologist, 5(3), 175–190. https://doi.org/10.1027//1016-9040.5.3.175 • Buunk, A. P., & Massar, K. (2012). Intrasexual competition among males: competitive towards men, prosocial towards women. Personality and Individual Differences, 52(7), 818–821. • Gong, X., Sanfey, A. G., & Xia, C.-Y. (2017). Social rank and social cooperation: impact of social comparison processes on cooperative decision-making. Plos One, 12(4), 0175472. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0175472 Hardin, G. (1968). The tragedy of the commons. the population problem has no technical solution; it requires a fundamental extension in morality. Science (New York, N.y.), 162(3859), 1243–8.  •  Ostrom, E., & National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change. (2002). The drama of the commons. National Academy Press. Retrieved February 16, 2022, from INSERT-MISSING-URL.  Rankin, D. J., Bargum, K., & Kokko, H. (2007). The tragedy of the commons in evolutionary biology. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 22(12), 643–51.



Group 32 - Social Psychology: Why do we act like this?
Tutor: Fleurie Nievelstein

Why do people do the things they do? Why is it that people seem to act differently in a Group ? How much influence do others have on our own behaviour? Social psychology is the scientific study of the ways in which people’s behaviour, thoughts, and feelings are influenced by the actual or imagined presence of others. People influence others and are influenced by others. Other people don’t even have to say or do anything to influence us. In this study the focus will be on the concept of social influence. Students and supervisor will work together on defining concrete learning objectives based on students’ interest.

References: • Burger, J. (2009). Replicating Milgram: Would people still obey today? American Psychologist, 64, 1-11. • Fiske, S. T., Harris, L. T., & Cuddy, A. J. C. (2004). Why ordinary people torture enemy prisoners. Science, 306, 1482-1483. • Gatersleben, B. (2012). The psychology of sustainable transport. The Psychologist, 25, 676-679. • Holland, R. W., Verplanken, B., & Van Knippenberg, A. (2002). On the nature of attitude-behavior relations: The strong guide, the weak follow. European Journal of Social Psychology, 32, 869–876. • Lassiter, G. D., Geers, A. L., Handley, I. M., Wendiland, P. E., & Munhall, P. J. (2002). Videotaped interrogations and confessions: A simple change in camera perspective alters verdicts in simulated trials. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 867-874.



Group 33 - Social Psychology: Love, Dating & Mating
Tutor: Fleurie Nievelstein

The phrase “I'm in love” is very telling. It refers to the initial period of a romantic relationship when it is possible to love and appreciate everything about the other person, whereas, after a while, feelings might change. What does love mean in a relationship and what determines whom we fall in love with? What are different types of relationships? What is the influence of dating sites and apps like Tinder on how love is perceived? This study focuses on getting insight in today’s perspective on love…

References: • Fincham, F. D., & May, R. W. (2017). Infidelity in romantic relationships. Current Opinion in Psychology, 13, 70-74. • Sumter, S. R., Vandenbosch, L., & Ligtenberg, L. (2017). Love me Tinder: Untangling emerging adults’ motivations for using the dating application Tinder. Telematics and Informatics, 34, 67-78. •  Hidden brain pod-cast: Dating and Mating When Did Marriage Become So Hard? The Lonely American Man



Group 34 - Learning a Language from Scratch
Tutor: Yuewei Cao and Francesco Gentile
 
One of the main mechanisms involved in learning to read is to bind a visual symbol to a specific sound. In this context, the specific (visual and auditory) features of those two components play a special role. In this study, the process of learning the letter-speech sound correspondences of pre-readers will be investigated. In particular, learning a new language will be simulated by training the association between artificial symbols and syllable pairs. The resulting learning curve could reveal crucial differences and commonalities of typical and dyslexic readers during the initial phase of reading.

References: • Jones, M. W., Kuipers, J. R., Nugent, S., Miley, A., & Oppenheim, G. (2018). Episodic traces and statistical regularities: Paired associate learning in typical and dyslexic readers. Cognition, 177, 214-225. • Karipidis, I.I., Pleisch, G., Röthlisberger, M., Hofstetter, C., Dornbierer, D., Stämpfli, P., Brem, S., 2017. Neural initialization of audiovisual integration in prereaders at varying risk for developmental dyslexia. Hum. Brain Mapp. 38, 1038–1055. • Karipidis, I.I., Pleisch, G., Brandeis, D., Roth, A., Röthlisberger, M., Schneebeli, M., et al., 2018. Simulating reading acquisition: the link between reading outcome and multimodal brain signatures of letter–speech sound learning in prereaders. Sci. Rep. 8, 7121. • Litt, R. A., & Nation, K. (2014). The nature and specificity of paired associate learning deficits in children with dyslexia. Journal of Memory and Language, 71(1), 71-88.



Group 35 - Not so proficient speaker, better judge?
Tutor: Maartje Schreuder

Logical reasoning and emotions do not go together very well. An interesting study by Costa et al. (2014) shows that solving moral reasoning tasks in a language that is not your own improves the reasoning, by taking away the emotions. Could that also be the solution for preventing forensic experts from being biased? Should they analyse case files in a language they are just a little proficient in?

References: • Costa A, Foucart A, Hayakawa S, Aparici M, Apesteguia J, et al. (2014) Your Morals Depend on Language. PLoS ONE 9(4): e94842. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094842 • Dror, I. E. (2020). Cognitive and Human Factors in Expert Decision Making: Six Fallacies and the Eight Sources of Bias. Analytical Chemistry 92 (12), 7998-8004. DOI: 10.1021/acs.analchem.0c00704 • Nunez, N., Estrada-Reynolds, V., Schweitzer, K., & Myers, B. (2016). The Impact of Emotions on Juror Judgments and Decision-Making. In Advances in Psychology and Law (pp. 55-93). Springer International Publishing AG. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-43083-6_3



Group 36 - Everyone can recognize voices, right?
Tutor: Maartje Schreuder

In a highly debated case in the US, the recording of the voice of someone in severe agony was recognized by a mother as her son’s, while another mother also recognized it as her own son’s. However, their sons differed in age, race, size, etc. How is this possible? Would not every mother recognize her son’s voice? And it is not that difficult to recognize a voice, isn’t it? In this study, we will find out how easy or difficult it is to recognize voices, how it relates to recognizing faces, but most importantly, how easy or difficult people think it is to recognize voices and how that relates to reality.

References: • Broeders, A. P. A. (1996). Earwitness identification: common ground, disputed territory and uncharted areas. Forensic Linguistics, 3(1), 3-13. https://doi.org/10.1558/ijsll.v3i1.3 • McGorrery, P. & McMahon, M. (2017). A Fair 'Hearing': Earwitness identifications and voice identification parades. The International Journal of Evidence & Proof, 21(3), 1–25. 10.1177/1365712717690753 • Smith, H. M. J., Bird, K., Roeser, J., Robson, J., Braber, N., Wright, D., & Stacey, P. C. (2020). Voice parade procedures: optimising witness performance, Memory, 28(1) 2-17. DOI: 10.1080/09658211.2019.1673427



Group 37 - The effects of novelty on False Memories
Tutor: Monika Toth

The facilitating effects of novelty on episodic and spatial memory have been extensively researched. For example, novelty can strengthen reward processing, drive exploration, facilitate visual working memory encoding, enhance perception, and speed up responses. However, less is known about the potential effects of novelty on false memories. False memories concern the recall of something that did not happen or happened not precisely the way one remembers. This study will investigate the effects of novel scenery exploration on false memories.



Group 38 - Does the language matter?
Tutor: Monika Toth

Nowadays, university students speak at least one or even two foreign languages aside from their mother tongue. Working memory, among other cognitive abilities, is crucial in language learning. However, while the cognitive benefits of knowing multiple languages have been studied extensively, less is known about the relation between working memory capacity and speaking more languages. This study will explore how the knowledge of foreign languages affects working memory capacity.



Group 39 - Do you remember words better when you hear them or see them?
Tutor: Monika Toth

Learning and memorizing verbal information is a unique human ability, which involves a rather complex methodology of flexible encoding and retrieval. Therefore, verbal learning abilities, such as memorizing a list of words, are often evaluated utilizing explicit memory tests, in which memory performance is measured with recall. This study will explore the effects of auditory and visual encoding of words on short- and long-term retrieval.



Group 40 - Predictive coding – which features are represented during occlusion?
Tutor: Johannes Franz

Our brain makes use of contextual information in order to interpret sensory input. For example, when moving your eyes, images of objects are rapidly shifting across your retina. In the context of voluntary eye-movements, this is expected. Without that context, this would be quite a disorienting experience. When we close our eyes and move our head, we have an expectation of where on our retina object will re-appear.  Computational, cognitive theories try to explain how the brain accomplishes this (Keller & Mrsic-Flogel, 2018). Occlusion-studies are a way of investigating certain aspects of these mechanisms (Flombaum et al., 2004). We will design a computer-task to investigate what aspects of objects are represented during expected periods of occlusion (Erlikhman & Caplovitz, 2017; Teichmann et al., 2021).

References: • Erlikhman, G., & Caplovitz, G. P. (2017). Decoding information about dynamically occluded objects in visual cortex. NeuroImage, 146(September 2016), 778–788. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.09.024 • Flombaum, J. I., Kundey, S. M., Santos, L. R., & Scholl, B. J. (2004). Dynamic object individuation in rhesus macaques: A study of the tunnel effect. Psychological Science, 15(12), 795–800. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00758.x • Keller, G. B., & Mrsic-Flogel, T. D. (2018). Predictive Processing: A Canonical Cortical Computation. Neuron, 100(2), 424–435. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2018.10.003 • Teichmann, L., Edwards, G., & Baker, C. I. (2021). Resolving visual motion through perceptual gaps. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2021.07.017



Group 41 - Predicting re-appearance – what is it good for?
Tutor: Johannes Franz

Our brain makes use of contextual information in order to interpret its input. This likely helps our brain to process sensory information in a more effective way (Keller & Mrsic-Flogel, 2018). Imagine, you are observing a car that is driving into a tunnel. You will not be surprised when it comes out at the other end after a short delay. This is because your brain has learned the heuristics surrounding cars and tunnels (Flombaum et al., 2012). Using this experience might allow you to save energy when things go as usual. On the flip-side, when things behave contrary to your expectation, your brain might be quick to adapt by isolating and concentrating on features that are unexpected and therefore deserve special attention. We will design a computer-task to investigate potential behavioral benefits associated with predictive coding in the context of visual motion (Battaglini & Ghiani, 2021).

References: • Battaglini, L., & Ghiani, A. (2021). Motion behind occluder: Amodal perception and visual motion extrapolation. Visual Cognition, 0(0), 1–25. https://doi.org/10.1080/13506285.2021.1943094 • Flombaum, J. I., Scholl, B. J., & Santos, L. R. (2012). Spatiotemporal priority as a fundamental principle of object persistence. The Origins of Object Knowledge, 135–164. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216895.003.0006 • Keller, G. B., & Mrsic-Flogel, T. D. (2018). Predictive Processing: A Canonical Cortical Computation. Neuron, 100(2), 424–435. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2018.10.003



Group 42 - Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on post-pandemic Higher Education
Tutor: Jolien Pieters

The Pandemic had a huge impact on the higher education system. On-campus lessons were transformed into online lessons. For almost two years, online learning or Elearning was predominant. Teachers and students learned a lot about the good and the bad regarding eLearning. We are now transforming to a post-pandemic situation, where the use of online learning, eLearning, and virtual education may become an integral part of our teaching system (Rashid & Yadav, 2020). In this research project, we are going to investigate which educational strategies and materials we want to keep and which strategies we never want to see again. How we are going to approach this question, depends on the interest of the Group .

References: • Rashid, S., & Yadav, S. S. (2020). Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on Higher Education and Research. Indian Journal of Human Development, 14(2), 340–343. https://doi.org/10.1177/0973703020946700 • de Boer, H. (2020). COVID-19 in Dutch higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 46(1), 96–106. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2020.1859684 • Means, B., & Neisler, J. (2021). Teaching and learning in the time of COVID: The student perspective. Online Learning, 25(1). https://doi.org/10.24059/olj.v25i1.2496 • Meeter, M., Bele, T., den Hartogh, C., Bakker, T., de Vries, R. E., & Plak, S. (2020). College students’ motivation and study results after COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. PsyArxiv, https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/kn6v9 • Meulenbroeks, R. (2020). Suddenly fully online: A case study of a blended university course moving online during the Covid-19 pandemic. Heliyon, 6(12), e05728. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e05728



Group 43 - Stress and wellbeing among young adults
Tutor: Julika Salb

Within the last decade, rates of severe psychological distress, mood disorders and burnout among young adults have increased tremendously. Considerable changes in demographical, societal and educational aspects of industrialized countries alter the experiences of young adults in their time of identity development. The consilience of these developments and inner personal, social challenges can be perceived as extraordinary stressful. How does stress relate to other concepts of well-being (both positively and negatively regarding various aspects such as happiness, relationships, sleep, performance… ). What factors might explain the high stress levels in young people and are there individual differences? How does one find the right balance and how can we effectively manage stress levels? Which role do the five existential concerns play in our wellbeing? Depending on your interest, these could be topics we will explore in this practical. Your study will contribute to advance future prevention and intervention efforts to help achieve the public health goal of reducing mental health issues of young adults.

References:
• Aherne, D. (2001). Understanding student stress: A qualitative approach. The Irish Journal of Psychology, 22(3-4), 176-187. • Beiter, R., Nash, R., McCrady, M., Rhoades, D., Linscomb, M., Clarahan, M., & Sammut, S. (2015, Mar 1). The prevalence and correlates of depression, anxiety, and stress in a sample of college students. J • Affect Disord, 173, 90-96. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2014.10.054 • Folkman, S., & Lazarus, R. S. (1988). Coping as a mediator of emotion. Journal of personality and social psychology, 54(3), 466. • Koole, S. L., Greenberg, J., & Pyszczynski, T. (2006). Introducing science to the psychology of the soul: Experimental existential psychology. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(5), 212-216.




Group 44 - Optimism, gratitude and self-compassion - Using Applied Positive Psychology to combat stress and increase wellbeing
Tutor: Julika Salb

For the longest time “What is wrong with people” has guided the thinking of many psychologists. In contrast to traditional therapies, Positive Psychology approaches emphasize the importance of the individual’s strengths, positive emotions & optimism, future-mindedness and meaning. By asking “what is right with people” this relatively new stream of research is devoted to understanding and learning how to build these positive qualities in order to improve people’s well-being and help to promote a good, healthy and content life. This is a rare opportunity to immerse yourself in this cutting-edge field of psychology and actively explore the effects a positive psychology intervention can have on wellbeing. Can optimism be learned to increase happiness? Can self-compassion training reduce the negative effects of stress? Can the practice of gratitude help students in feeling less overwhelmed? Depending on your interest, these could be topics we will explore in this practical.

References: • Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), 5-14. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.5 • Fredrickson, B. L. (2004). The broaden–and–build theory of positive emotions. Philosophical transactions of the royal society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences, 359(1449), 1367-1377. • Neff, K. (2003). Self-compassion: An alternative conceptualization of a healthy attitude toward oneself. Self and identity, 2(2), 85-101. • Meevissen, Y. M., Peters, M. L., & Alberts, H. J. (2011). Become more optimistic by imagining a best possible self: Effects of a two week intervention. Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry, 42(3), 371-378.



Group 45 - Itsy Bitsy Spider
Tutor: Pauline Dibbets

Spider-fearful people tend to avoid spiders, resulting in maintaining their phobia. However, some people can overcome their fear and approach spiders. This approach might be key in the reduction of fear and avoidance behaviour. The aim of this study is to examine the effect of approach-avoidance behaviour on (changes in) spider fear and avoidance.

References: • Dibbets, P., & Fonteyne, R. (2015). High spider fearfuls can overcome their fear in a virtual approach-avoidance conflict task. Journal of Depression & Anxiety, 4(2), 1-7. • Krypotos, A.-M., Effting, M., Kindt, M., & Beckers, T. (2015). Avoidance learning: a review of theoretical models and recent developments. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 9(189). doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00189 • Pittig, A., Treanor, M., LeBeau, R. T., & Craske, M. G. (2018). The role of associative fear and avoidance learning in anxiety disorders: Gaps and directions for future research. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 88, 117-140.



Group 46 - Remembering waves: The role of brain oscillations in temporal memory of a song
Tutor: Vincent van de Ven

Songs have been part of human culture for many centuries. We process songs as auditory narratives, in which we temporally segment a song into “event clusters” based on perceived contextual changes during the song, such as changes from refrain to a chorus, lyrical vocals to instrumental solo or between different melodies. It has been suggested that oscillatory brain activity – “brain waves” – play a role in memory formation and event segmentation. Oscillatory activity in the theta range (4-8 Hz) may be particularly important. In this practical, we will use sensory oscillatory stimulation to investigate the role of theta oscillations in temporal memory of a song. The study will be conducted online. Keywords are: Event segmentation, theta oscillations, temporal memory and music perception.

References:  • Clouter A, Shapiro KL, Hanslmayr S (2017) Theta Phase Synchronization Is the Glue that Binds Human Associative Memory. Curr Biol 27:3143-3148.e6.  • Meng A, Kaiser M, de Graaf TA, Dücker F, Sack AT, De Weerd P, van de Ven V (2021) Transcranial alternating current stimulation at theta frequency to left parietal cortex impairs associative, but not perceptual, memory encoding. Neurobiol Learn Mem 182:107444.  • Sridharan D, Levitin DJ, Chafe CH, Berger J, Menon V (2007) Neural Dynamics of Event Segmentation in Music: Converging Evidence for Dissociable Ventral and Dorsal Networks. Neuron 55:521–532.



Group 47 - Depression and attentional biases
Tutor: Shanice Janssens

Depression is typically associated with negative mood and emotional dysfunction. But depression may be linked to other cognitive dysfunctions, including attentional biases. Unfortunately, (sub-)clinical depressive symptoms are not uncommon in student populations. There is a need to better understand how depressive symptoms are related to attentional dysfunctions. This can help us develop better (and perhaps individualized) treatments in the future. Example questions: (How) are spatial attention biases correlated with depressive symptoms? What types of attention are correlated with depressive symptoms? Are emotion regulation skills related to attentional biases?

References: [If any of these References are not accessible to you, please send me an e-mail (shanice.janssens@maastrichtuniversity.nl) and I will provide them to you!] • Keller, A.S., Leikauf, J.E., Holt-Gosselin, B., Staveland, B.R., Williams, L.M. (2019). Paying attention to attention in depression. Translational psychiatry, 9(1), 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-019-0616-1 • Mennen, A. C., Norman, K. A., & Turk-Browne, N. B. (2019). Attentional bias in depression: understanding mechanisms to improve training and treatment. Current opinion in psychology, 29, 266-273. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2019.07.036 • Yang, T., Xiang, L. (2019). Executive control dysfunction in subclinical depressive undergraduates: Evidence from the Attention Network Test. Journal of Affective Disorders, 245, 130-139. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2018.10.104 • Krings, A., Heeren, A., Fontaine, P., Blairy, S. (2020). Attentional biases in depression: Relation to disorder severity, rumination, and anhedonia. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 100, 152173. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2020.152173 • LeMoult, J., Gotlib, I.H. (2019). Depression: A cognitive perspective. Clinical Psychology Review, 69, 51-66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2018.06.008. [Note: this is an extensive review paper. Feel free to skip to the relevant parts].


End of list.
 
Last modified: Mon, 14/03/2022 - 11:49

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