I am intrinsically very interested in the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin) system and its role in perception and cognition (for instance, creativity, open-mindedness, cognitive flexibility, neuroplasticity and neurogenesis). Furthermore, philosophy of science and mind capture my deepest curiosity.
Personally, I love to exchange ideas with scholars who adhere to different scientific and cultural paradigms (i.e., Weltanschauungen) because interdisciplinary and cross-cultural discourse offers great intellectual stimulation and provides impetus for the development of novel unconventional ideas, hypotheses, and theories.
Given the well-documented paralogisms associated with classical Fisherian null hypothesis significance testing based on p-values I advocate alternative inferential research methods. For the statistical analyses of the experimental data I collected during my PhD I utilised non-parametric Bayesian bootstrapping, Bayes Factor analysis for model comparison, and Bayesian a posteriori parameter estimation via Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations (in addition to orthodox frequentist null hypothesis significance testing). Based on my practical experience it is my opinion that Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods are currently the most powerful analytical framework and the richness of information provided by this approach supersedes Bayes Factor analysis. Nevertheless, I consider Bayes Factor analysis superior to the logically incoherent p-value based analyses which unfortunately dominates psychology.
I am personally very engaged in the socio-political aspects of psychology and neuroscience (i.e., social psychology and neuropolitics) and I regard social/public engagement as an important aspect of academic/intellectual life. I am convinced that the following three domains are currently of utmost importance and that “irrational decisions” and other deeply rooted (unconscious) aspects of human psychology lie at the very heart of these crucial problems which concern all of us.
I started studying psychology at the Free University of Amsterdam. My bachelor studies (supervised by Dr. Karen Mortier) were conducted within the theoretical framework of embodied cognition. In our experiments, we utilized different mood induction techniques in order to empirically investigate their influence on selective attention in a series of computerized visual search tasks. Our theorizing was significantly influenced by considerations regarding conceptual metaphor theory and the neuropsychological valence model of hemispheric processing of emotion perception.
Subsequent to my bachelor studies, I successfully completed a Master of Science in Psychological Research Methods (with distinction) at the University of Plymouth. During my master's project I collaborated with Prof. Simon Handley and the resulting dissertation focused primarily on the role prefrontal cortical executive functions play in logical syllogistic vs. belief-based reasoning (i.e., syntax vs. semantics in belief bias). Much of the motivation for our experimentation was derived from prior work on self-control/willpower, ego depletion, and contemporary dual process theories of cognition. Based on this background, I acquired substantial knowledge in cognitive psychology, particularly in the domain of logical reasoning and decision-making (e.g., behavioural economics in the Kahneman and Tversky research tradition).