Personal information

Liesbeth  Claassen

Liesbeth Claassen

My research focuses on the perception and communication of health risks and uncertainties surrounding emerging and societal and controversial risk issues. As a social psychologist I am especially interested in how people perceive and respond to uncertain but personally relevant health information. 

In 2004, I started at EMGO as a PhD staudent on the project:"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." In this  study we explored how people perceive their genetic disease risk and the relation with preventive behavior.

Previously, I worked as a teacher of Economics after obtaining a MSc in Economics (1990) and a postdoctoral education degree (1992) at VU University in Amsterdam.  Later, I got my degree in Social Psychology from the University of Amsterdam (2003).

In my research I combine multiple theoretical frameworks (e.g. models of detereminants of behaviour, dual process theories, psychometric studies on risk perception, social amplification of risk framework) and practical approaches, in particular the mental models approach, to improve risk communication. Currently, I work in collaboration with the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment. I am involved in several projects concerning the development of guidelines and communication materials on man made sources of risks, such as radiation from nuclear incidents, indoor radon, smoke of chemical fires, and electromagnetic fields.