Welcome to the department of Social and Organizational Psychology
‘Science is about the truth, about progress and about innovation. This is what makes science so exciting. The science of social and organizational psychology makes it even more exciting - because it addresses the reality we experience on a daily, and sometimes even on an hourly basis. Imaginary or real, people often find themselves in social situations - with strangers, with colleagues, with friends, with close partners. These social interactions can be quite challenging - and sometimes even puzzling (“why did she do that to me?”) How do we deal with strangers? Do we trust them? Does our image or reputation matter? What is it that makes people able to control their impulses, and “count till ten” or take the longer time perspective? Are people inherently selfish? How do people see themselves, and do we see other people are selfish? And how can we promote unselfish, cooperative actions in people? Do we need strong leaders to bring about cooperation in groups and organizations? Should leaders always give “voice” to people to maintain trust and promote cooperation? How important is justice? And are reward and punishment equally important in promoting cooperation?
Research in our department is about Trust, Leadership, and Cooperation (TLC). The department adopts psychological, interdependence, and evolutionary approaches to comprehensively understand human cognition, emotion, and behavior in social settings. And the department feels strongly about the applicability of our findings, realizing that increasing our knowledge about trust, leadership, and cooperation is essential to understanding social behavior in relationships, groups, or organizations. We want to understand things that matter: It is our conviction that the social and organizational aspects of human life is what matters most meaningfully to most people, at least most of the time.’
Prof. dr. Paul A.M. van Lange (head of department)