Nearly all of the teaching staff associated with the Master’s programme in Psychology also conduct research in their field. Four research groups are responsible for the University of Twente’s education and research activities in the field of psychology. 


The department of Psychology, Health & Technology is headed by Prof. Ernst Bohlmeijer and is linked to the specialization Health Psychology & Technology. Education and research in the department are aimed at good health and prevention (including eHealth) and positive psychology and technology.

The department collaborates with other academic disciplines such as medicine and engineering sciences, as well as with companies and organizations such as the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM, Tactus addiction treatment and care, Roessingh rehabilitation centre, the Twente public health service, and the Dimence and Mediant mental healthcare organizations.


Prof. Ellen Giebels heads the department of Psychology of Conflict, Risk & Safety and is linked to the specialization Conflict, Risk & Safety. The department focuses on three themes from a psychological perspective:

  1. Risk perception and communication: focuses on how to deal with conflicts and incidents that pose a threat to individual and societal safety.
  2. Conflict and crisis management: asks why citizens estimate the risk of flooding, fire or disease as very high on some occasions, yet negligible on others.
  3. Antecedents of risky, anti-social and criminal behaviour: examines issues such as what motivates people to display risky, antisocial and criminal behaviour (e.g. cybercrime) and asks how we can effectively intervene when such behaviour has been displayed. 

The department frequently works with colleagues from other universities at home and abroad and with partners in the professional field, including regional police forces, the National Police, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM, the Ministry of Justice (Public Prosecutor’s office, the Legal Aid Board), the National Crisis Centre and TNO. 


The Department of Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics is headed by Prof. Willem Verwey and is linked to the specialization Human Factors & Engineering Psychology. The department’s education and research relates to human performance when using technical systems, and the nature of the information processing methods applied. The department’s research perspective is decidedly cognitive: information processing is therefore key in its research activities. The power of the department’s approach lies in the close relationship between applied (problem-solving) research and fundamental research, which is oriented towards information processing. Applied research leads to further studies into relevant fundamental topics, while at the same time fundamental research provides the requisite knowledge for high-quality applied research. The department works with companies such as Philips, TNO, and the Roessingh rehabilitation centre in Enschede. 


Prof. Ton de Jong heads the department of Instructional Technology, whose research and education focus is on knowledge and knowledge development and is linked to the specialization Learning Sciences. The department studies the psychological processes behind the acquisition and use of knowledge, instructional support in the acquisition of knowledge, and knowledge management, among other topics. School pupils (and adult learners) use a variety of learning environments and tools such as computer simulations, group work and classroom lessons to actively acquire knowledge.

The department is particularly interested in discovering how this form of learning can be effectively designed for young children. In addition, the department is also researching the processes involved in using and expanding knowledge in work environments, with a special emphasis on self-managed learning in the workplace. For example, how can organizations and companies deploy tools for using and managing knowledge more effectively, and combine this with proven experience from simulated learning environments?

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