Maria Isabela Rinderu

Hi, I am Isabela

I am a research assistant at the Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology at the VU Amsterdam. I have a bachelor’s degree in Political Science (S.N.S.P.A Bucharest) and a research master’s degree in Social Psychology (VU Amsterdam). During my studies, I focused on topics that are best labeled in terms of  cooperation, such as trust, social value orientation, and social mindfulness. As part of my first research project, I focused on how different degrees of power affect trust and cooperation. As part of my second research project, I developed a new time-constrained social mindfulness paradigm, and further examined how a consideration for future consequences affects socially mindful behavior.


Releasing Prisoners of the Paradigm: Understanding Cooperation Across Contexts and in the Lab and Field (with Daniel Balliet)

As of September 2015, I am working with Dr. Daniel Balliet on creating a multi-disciplinary open access database that incorporates the entire history of research on the topic of human cooperation. I am using meta-analysis as a tool to test compelling questions such as how thought about the future, conditions of information uncertainty, or specific features of culture (e.g., norms, beliefs) relate to cooperation.

Time-Orientation, Self-Control, and Violence Around the Globe: a model of CLimate, Aggression, and Self-Control in Humans (CLASH) (with Paul Van Lange and Brad Bushman)

Why is there more aggression and violence in countries closer to the equator? Based on life history theory, we propose the Equator Distance Model of Aggression, which posits that the greater levels of aggression and violence in countries closer to the equator can at least partially be understood in terms of time-orientation and self-control. Higher temperatures, and especially less seasonal variation in climate, as indicated by the distance from the equator, calls for individuals and groups to exert greater focus on the present (versus future), with a weaker emphasis on self-control. The model further outlines, on the basis of considerable empirical evidence, that short-term orientation and lack of self-control is an important determinant of aggression and violence, and thus an important causal agent in accounting for higher levels aggression and violence in countries closer to the equator.


Van Lange, P. A. M., Rinderu, M. I., & Bushman, B. J. (in press).  Aggression and violence around the world:  A model of CLimate, Aggression, and Self-control in Humans (CLASH).  Behavioral and Brain Sciences (target article).



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