As a social scientist, I am especially interested in how people perceive and respond to personally relevant information. My research focuses on the perception and communication of health risks, such as lifestyle risks, genetic risks and environmental risks.
Currently, I am involved in several projects concerning the perceptions and responses to man made sources of electromagnetic fields (EMF) and the development of guidelines for communication. Furthermore, I recently finished a project on improving communication on smoke of fires in collaboration with Municipal Health Services Groningen.
In June 2010 I finished my thesis "The Risky Self. How people perceive and respond to being at risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease; the role of genetic information and self-concept.". This study explored how people perceive their disease risk and the relation with preventive behavior, using a mental models approach.
I studied Economics at VU University in Amsterdam (obtaining a MSc in 1990 and a postdoctoral education degree in 1992) and subsequently worked as a teacher of Economics. I also got my degree in Social Psychology from the University of Amsterdam (2003).