My research focuses on understanding Human Cooperation. I apply experiments, field studies, and meta-analysis to test evolutionary and psychological theories of cooperation. My work addresses issues related to (a) how people think about their interdependence in social interactions, (b) how people condition their cooperation to acquire direct and indirect benefits, and (c) understanding cross-societal variation in cooperation. I am the recipient of an ERC Starting Grant (2015-2020) and ERC Consolidator Grant (2020-2025).
Paul A. M. Van Lange is Professor of Social Psychology at the VU Amsterdam, Distinguished Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, and holds a Global Professorship at the University of Cologne. His research focuses on human cooperation and trust, including empathy, fairness, conflict and aggression, as well as broad societal topics such as climate change, norm violations, and refugees. He gives annual workshops to mayors and other professionals in the Netherlands and Europe.
My research is situated in the areas of Affective Computing and Social Signal Processing. It focuses on enabling technological systems to infer cognitive and affective states from data about human behavioral cues using multimodal machine learning. I am particularly interested in developing context-sensitive approaches for this kind of computer-based behavioral analysis. By accounting for person- and situation-specific influences on the underlying psychological processes driving human behavior, these have the potential for automatic inferences that are more accurate and robust across different scenarios in the real world. I am currently exploring the computational modeling of social perception processes and partner selection choices in collaborative interactions based on behavioral data about the involved individuals.
I consider my field of research, cooperation, a very important area of research as it has implications for policy makers and planners. As I learned more about social dilemma research from my colleagues, group size became my focus. Over the next four years as a PhD candidate, I will conduct new investigations on group size, work effectively with and learn from great minds within the social dilemma domain, and review the literature in meta-analytic studies.
My research interest focuses on understanding (a) which social cues and evidence affect inferences individuals make about their social partners, especially in the domain of trust and cooperation, (b) how can these information be used to predict, faciliate or/and optimize partner selection, (c) how other contextual variables (i.e. interdependence, social distance) contribute to shaping cooperative behavior. In my studies, I want to apply an interdisciplinary approach, combining psychology, cognitive and computer science.
I am interested in people’s cooperative behaviors in real-world and economic games, specifically, what kind of people and under what circumstances will people behave more cooperatively. The former helps identify those people, whereas the latter helps stimulate cooperation in the applied settings. I wish to contribute to the game-based personality assessment by incorporating cooperative game tasks. In addition to experimental studies, I’m keen on learning new research paradigms like computational modeling, social network analysis, etc.
I am a student under the Spinoza Prize project “Understanding Language by Machines”. My research focuses on trust, explicitly investigating how robots could navigate the real world and form complicated relationships with people just like we do. My work aims to create and evaluate a computational model of trust, from a robot’s perspective towards trusting humans in collaborative tasks. For this, I apply complementary Artificial Intelligence techniques (from Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing to Symbolic Knowledge Representation).
FORMER PhD STUDENTS
Simon Columbus: University of Copenhagen
Mengchen Dong: Max Planck Institute, Berlin
Fabiola Gerpott: WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management
Shuxian Jin: University of Sussex
Nils Köbis: Max Planck Institute, Berlin
Cristhian Martinez: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
Catherine Molho: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
Jan Pletzer: Erasmus Universiteit
Angelo Romano: University of Leiden, Netherlands
Niels van Doesum: University of Leiden, Netherlands
Junhui Wu: Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Brock Bastian: University of Melbourne, Australia
Bianca Beersma: Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Robert Böhm: University of Vienna, Austria
Terence das Dores Cruz: Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Carsten de Dreu: University of Leiden, Netherlands
Reinout de Vries: Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Simon Gaechter: University of Nottingham
Caroline Graf: Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Kimmo Eriksson: Märlardalen University, Sweden
Kelly Kirkland: University of Melbourne, Australia
Eleanor Lieberman: Performance Measurement and Evaluation Fellow
Annika Nieper: Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Francesca Righetti: Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Bela Rinderu: Brand and Cross-media scientist
Hannes Rusch: University of Maastricht, Netherlands
Giuliana Spadaro: Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Pontus Strimling: Insitutute for Future Studies at Stockholm, Sweden
Kristen Syme: University of Leiden, Netherlands
Ilaria Tiddi: Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Isabel Thielmann: Max Planck Institute
Joshua Tybur: Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Evert van de Vliert: University of Groningen (Prof Emeritus), Netherlands
Olmo van den Akker: Tilburg University
Piek Vossen: Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Toshio Yamagishi: Hitotsubashi University
Mingliang Yuan: Beijing Normal University