This specialization belongs to the Master's programme Psychology.
This specialization focuses on threats to the physical or social safety of groups or individuals, and on designing interventions that improve security, with an emphasis on new technologies.
What is Conflict, Risk and Safety
The Master's specialization in Conflict, Risk & Safety is a unique programme that emphasizes the threats to citizens’ physical and social security. Theoretical knowledge is combined with practical application (in the form of interventions). This means there is an emphasis on new technology. Social psychology is the main theoretical foundation, but the programme also incorporates elements like clinical psychology, cognitive psychology and occupational and organizational psychology. The curriculum is now intertwined with our research programme and is organized around three themes:
- Conflict and crisis management: Learn to deal with conflicts and incidents that pose a threat to individual and societal safety.
- Risk perception and communication
Gain insight into the psychology of risks (e.g. why do civilians sometimes fail to accurately estimate risk, either exaggerating the actual risk, or neglecting it altogether?).
- Explaining and dealing with risky, antisocial and criminal behaviour
Explore why people display risky, antisocial and criminal behaviour (e.g. cybercrime) and how you can effectively intervene when it occurs.
Conflict and Crisis Management
This theme focuses on how to deal with conflicts and incidents that pose a threat to individual and societal safety. For example, you will examine the dynamics surrounding employees who work in a public environment and who are confronted with members of the public who act violently (see the project “Aggression and violence against employees with a public task”). Or you might explore the question of how disputes between neighbours can be peacefully resolved through processes such as neighbourhood mediation. We also address group dynamics, such as the likelihood of groupthink when a team of people is involved in high-stakes decision-making. With the knowledge you acquire, you can develop into an expert in the area of interventions aimed at managing and solving conflicts or overseeing group interactions.
Risk perception and communication
This theme delves into the psychology of risks: Why do civilians sometimes fail to accurately estimate the risk of flooding, fire or disease, either exaggerating the actual risk, or neglecting it altogether? How does the social environment (the opinions of peers and the media, for example) influence these estimates? During this theme, you will be trained to advise governmental and other public and private agencies on how to assess risks among civilians, and how to empower them to guard against such risks. As a part of this theme, we are involved in the Risk Factory, an interactive safety centre at which children and vulnerable groups (the elderly or disabled) can learn to become more risk-aware and resilient (see Risk Factory).
Explaining and dealing with risky, antisocial and criminal behaviour
In this theme you will gain insight into why people display risky, antisocial and criminal behaviour (e.g. cybercrime) and how you can effectively intervene when such behaviour occurs. An individual’s environment has a major impact in this regard. This includes his or her physical environment, such as security measures (CCTV), as well as the social environment (peers, co-workers, subcultures). You will learn about key interventions that can effectively correct this negative behaviour (e.g. different forms of sanctions and behavioural interventions for offenders; see ‘recidive na een reclasseringscontact’).