Conflict, Risk and Safety

Why this specialization?

This Master's specialization at the University of Twente is a unique programme that centres on the social psychology of Conflict, Risk & Safety. A vital element in this specialization is the combination of theoretical knowledge with practical applications. Many of our projects are later implemented in close partnership with partners in the field (which is why we study real-life cases as far as we can). Our focus is on designing and evaluating effective interventions. This practical approach is also mirrored in our research and the possibility you will have as a student to work with professionals in the field. For example, some of our students have done internships at Twente's Safety Region and at the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Others have written theses on the impact of victim-offender mediation in The Netherlands. 


As a Psychology department at a technologically oriented university, we are increasingly enthusiastic about the possibilities of including new technology in our research projects, and many of our researchers already do so. Three main reasons for the application of new technologies: 

  1. New technologies are usually accompanied by risk perceptions and aversion, so it is important to understand how people react to and make sense of new technology-related risks. One of our PhD projects, for example, focuses on risk perceptions and behaviour in relation to nan-modification in the food industry.
  2. Technology also shapes the way people interact. For example, consider online behaviour (cybercrime) and the possibilities for technology-aided intervention, such as online victim-offender mediation. One of our PhD projects, for example, evaluates a new, online legal aid tool, which is being administered and developed by the Legal Aid Board in the Netherlands.
  3. New technology allows us to monitor and analyze large groups and datasets (e.g. capturing movement, (non)verbal behaviour, physiology) in actual high-stakes situations; we use sociometric badges to measure group interaction, GPS sensors to examine movement patterns, and LIWC software to do text analyses. As an example, one of our PhD projects uses Thought Technology skin conductance sensors to examine cognitive and affective load during deception processes.
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