Sander L. Koole

Sander L. Koole
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam | VU · Department of Clinical Psychology

PhD, Psychology

About

211
Publications
310,495
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12,631
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Introduction
My research examines how people manage their feelings and emotions. My colleagues and I work at the Amsterdam Emotion Regulation lab (http://emotionregulationlab.com), a research lab at the Clinical Psychology Department of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Additional affiliations
April 2012 - November 2021
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Position
  • Managing Director
September 2000 - May 2011
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
March 1996 - August 2000
Radboud University
Position
  • Ph Student
Education
March 1996 - December 2000
Radboud University
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (211)
Article
Emotion regulation is not always deliberate, but can also operate on nonconscious or implicit levels. From an action control perspective, there are three ways in which implicit processes may support emotion regulation. First, implicit processes may allow people to decide whether or not to engage in emotion regulation, through implicit activation of...
Conference Paper
Interpersonal synchrony is associated with better interpersonal affiliation. No matter how well-affiliated people are, interruptions or transitions in synchrony rebound to occur. One might intuitively expect that transitions in synchrony negatively affect affiliation or liking. Empirical evidence, however, suggests that time periods with interrupti...
Chapter
For a video presentation, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRUzrkf1mW4. When people interact, their behaviour tends to become synchronised, a mutual coordination process that fosters short-term adaptations, like increased affiliation, and long-term adaptations, like increased bonding. This paper addresses for the first time how such short-term a...
Conference Paper
For a video presentation, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRfB0Pphi34. Interpersonal synchrony usually induces behavioural adaptivity concerning the interaction between people. Such behavioural adaptivity is assumed to be driven by some form of subjective internal synchrony detection. In contrast to objective synchrony detection by an external...
Article
Full-text available
Single-brain neuroimaging studies have shown that human cooperation is associated with neural activity in frontal and temporoparietal regions. However, it remains unclear whether single-brain studies are informative about cooperation in real life, where people interact dynamically. Such dynamic interactions have become the focus of interbrain studi...
Conference Paper
For a video presentation, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRUzrkf1mW4. When people interact, their behaviour tends to become synchronized, a mutual coordination process that fosters short-term adaptations, like increased affiliation, and long-term adaptations, like increased bonding. This paper addresses for the first time how such short-term a...
Article
Full-text available
Since March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing efforts to contain its spread have caused major problems with public health, along with social and economic disruptions. This Special Issue addresses how coping with the pandemic has been shaped by the interplay between cognition and emotion. The various contributions to this Special Issue explore...
Chapter
Full-text available
People spontaneously synchronize their mental states and behavioral actions when they interact. This paper models general mechanisms that can lead to the emergence of interpersonal synchrony by multiple agents with internal cognitive and affective states. In our simulations, one agent was exposed to a repeated stimulus and the other agent started t...
Article
Reminders of COVID-related problems have been pervasive throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Such reminders could have negative mental health impacts, especially among psychologically vulnerable people, including those with trauma-related problems. We experimentally examined the effects of pandemic reminders among trauma-exposed participants sampled f...
Article
Full-text available
People self-enhance, that is, they spend much time and effort building and maintaining a favourable understanding of who they are. Sedikides (this issue) proposes that self-enhancement is an integral part of psychological homeostasis, which protects the person’s emotional wellbeing. In this article, I comment on three key aspects of the homeostatic...
Article
People differ in trait anger, or how easily they lose their temper. The present authors suggest that whether trait anger become translated into angry feelings and behavior may depend on basic motivational states. Specifically, people with high (versus low) trait anger may display increased anger and aggression when their current state is more rathe...
Article
Full-text available
Prior laboratory experiments among healthy samples found that training avoidance movements to angry faces may lower anger and aggression, especially people high in trait anger. To enrich this training and make it more suitable for clinical applications, the present researchers developed it into a Virtual Reality Game for Aggressive Impulse Manageme...
Article
Joint decision-making can be seen as the synchronization of actions and emotions, usually via nonverbal interaction between people while they show empathy. The aim of the current paper was (1) to develop an adaptive computational model for the type of synchrony that can occur in joint decision-making for two persons modeled as agents, and (2) to vi...
Conference Paper
For a video presentation, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnXjBeHfrd0. Mental processes in the brain and body are often modelled and simulated by causal models according to a dynamic systems perspective. These causal models can be adapted to fit natural human processes and describe specific human traits. Patterns or time series generated by sim...
Article
Full-text available
Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in studies measuring brain activity, physiological responses, and/or movement data from multiple individuals during social interaction. For example, so-called “hyperscanning” research has demonstrated that brain activity may become synchronized across people as a function of a range of factors. Such findin...
Preprint
Full-text available
Single-brain neuroimaging studies have shown that human cooperation is associated with neural activity in frontal and temporoparietal regions. However, it remains unclear whether single-brain studies are informative about cooperation in real life, where people interact dynamically. Such dynamic interactions have become the focus of inter-brain stud...
Conference Paper
People spontaneously synchronize their activities when they interact. This paper models the emergence of interpersonal synchrony by multiple agents with internal cognitive and affective states. In our simulations, one agent was exposed to a repeated stimulus and the other agent started to synchronize consecutively its movements, affects, conscious...
Article
Full-text available
Prior research has shown that viewing natural scenery can improve mood and reduce stress. The present study examined whether these benefits are moderated by depressive symptoms, which theoretically may either reduce or enhance restorative effects of viewing nature. To test these competing hypotheses, we conducted two experiments with participants w...
Conference Paper
A video presentation of this paper can be found at the Self-Modeling Networks YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ad5e6ep_FhA and also as Linked Data here. In this paper, it is discussed how knowledge from psychology and neuroscience is a useful source to develop computational causal models for mental processes that after virtualisatio...
Article
Full-text available
Due to mounting concerns about the psychological well-being of university students, it is useful to consider whether and how the quality of the physical study environment can improve students’ functioning. The present study examined the presence of potted plants within a university library study room on students’ self-reported mood (i.e., fatigue a...
Article
Full-text available
We conducted a preregistered multi-laboratory project (k = 36; N = 3531) to assess the size and robustness of ego depletion effects using a novel replication method, termed the paradigmatic replication approach. Laboratories implemented one of two procedures that intended to manipulate self control and tested performance on a subsequent measure of...
Chapter
To effectively regulate their emotions, people have to continually adjust their emotion regulation strategies to changes in internal and external demands. Flexibility and adaptivity are thus vital to emotion regulation. Flexibility refers to the context-sensitive deployment of emotion regulation strategies while regulating one's own emotions. By co...
Preprint
So-called “open science practices” seek to improve research transparency and methodological rigor. What do emotion researchers think about these practices? To address this question, we surveyed active emotion researchers (N= 144) in October 2019 about their attitudes toward several open science practices. Overall, the majority of emotion researcher...
Article
Full-text available
This study reviews the evidence on the effects of nature in the study environment on well-being, academic outcomes, and outcomes related to possible explanatory pathways among students in secondary and tertiary education. The protocol was preregistered at Prospero (CRD42019126718). A systematic search of two databases yielded 3410 articles, of whic...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Flexibility in emotion regulation strategies is one of the properties associated to healthy minds. Emotion regulation strategies are context dependent and the adaptivity of those strategies is solely subjected to the context. Flexibility, therefore, plays a key role in the use of these emotion regulation strategies. The computational model presente...
Article
A cumulative emotion science requires sustained investments in theory development. To encourage such investments, a new section will be added to Cognition & Emotion that is specifically devoted to theory. In this Editorial, we first lay out the rationale for the new Theory section. Next, we consider the added value of theory for research on cogniti...
Article
Full-text available
Classic and modern emotion theories suggest that the perception of bodily sensations, or interoception, is foundational to emotion processing. The present research examined whether interoception is enhanced among people high in ruminative tendencies, especially under stress. To test this notion, the present research examined the effects of a mild s...
Article
Full-text available
The present research examines how narrative engagement, or the extent to which people immerse themselves into the world of a story, varies as a function of narrative perspective and individual differences in alexithymia. The authors hypothesised that narrative engagement would be higher when people assume a first-person (rather than third-person) p...
Article
Full-text available
People can intuitively distinguish semantically coherent from incoherent word triads, even without knowing the common denominator. Drawing on cognitive linguistics, the present authors suggest that intuitive coherence judgments are driven by the thematic relations of the triad words. Words are thematically related when they perform different roles...
Article
Full-text available
Prior work has shown beneficial effects of indoor nature (e.g. potted plants, green walls) on attention, health, and well-being for various groups, including students. The aim of this paper was to examine whether these effects also emerge when students attend a single lecture in a classroom with indoor nature. Three longitudinal field experiments,...
Article
In language, people often refer to decision difficulty in terms of spatial distance. Specifically, decision-difficulty is expressed as proximity, for instance when people say that a decision was “too close to call”. Although these expressions are metaphorical, we argue, in line with research on conceptual metaphor theory, that they reflect how peop...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, we present the theory of Personality Systems Interactions (PSI) as a meta framework for analyzing the functional architecture of human motivation and personality functioning. Section 1 delineates how PSI theory integrates various traditional motivation theories into seven distinct levels of human motivation and individual differ...
Chapter
The working relationship between patient and therapist is a core aspect of psychotherapy. In This chapter, the authors consider how the therapeutic relationship may be explained by the basic social-psychological mechanism of interpersonal synchrony, defined as the temporal coordination of patient’s and therapist’s mutual behavioral, physiological,...
Article
Full-text available
People can intuitively estimate the semantic coherence of word triads, even when they are unable to state the triads’ common denominator. The present research examines the role of working memory in such intuitive coherence judgments. Dual-process models of information processing suggest that intuition does not depend on working memory. Consistent w...
Article
Full-text available
To commemorate that Cognition & Emotion was established three decades ago, we asked some distinguished scholars to reflect on past research on the interface of cognition and emotion and prospects for the future. The resulting papers form the Special Issue on Horizons in Cognition and Emotion Research. The contributions to Horizons cover both the fi...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Prior laboratory findings indicate that training avoidance movements to angry faces may lower anger and aggression among healthy participants, especially those high in trait anger. To enrich this training and make it more suitable for clinical applications, it has been developed into a Virtual Reality Game for Aggressive Impulse Managem...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Emotion regulation is a vital psychological process that allows people to manage their own emotional states. Recent psychological research has highlighted the importance of flexibility in emotion regulation, such that people can alternative between different emotion regulation strategies a strategy is chosen depending upon the demands of the situat...
Article
The present research examined the influence of ambient lighting on approach-oriented motivation and emotion. Because darkness is associated with inactivity, the authors hypothesized that dark (vs. bright) environments would lower approach motivation. Consistent with this, participants in Experiment 1 (N = 80) reported less approach motivation in a...
Article
Background Mindfulness‐based interventions (MBIs) are effective in treating major depression. Because mindfulness involves monitoring and accepting current experiences, it may lead people resolve incongruencies between emotional responses that would otherwise remain unnoticed. Mindfulness may thus foster congruence between implicit and explicit emo...
Preprint
Background: Mindfulness-based interventions are effective in treating major depression. Because mindfulness involves monitoring and accepting current experiences, it may lead people resolve incongruencies between emotional responses that would otherwise remain unnoticed. Mindfulness may thus foster congruence between implicit and explicit emotions....
Article
Full-text available
Background: People differ in action versus state orientation, or the capacity for volitional action control. Prior research has shown that people who are action- rather than state-oriented are better able to perceive and satisfy own motives (e.g., affiliation, achievement, power), which translates into greater psychological well-being (Baumann, Kas...
Article
Full-text available
Terror Management Theory (TMT; Greenberg, Solomon, & Pyszczynski, 1997) proposes that mortality concerns may lead people to reject other cultures than their own. Although highly relevant to multiculturalism, TMT has been rarely tested in a European multicultural society. To fill this void, two studies examined the effects of mortality salience (MS)...
Article
Full-text available
One of the enduring missions of personality science is to unravel what it takes to become a fully functioning person. In the present article, the authors address this matter from the perspectives of self-determination theory (SDT) and personality systems interactions (PSI) theory. SDT a) is rooted in humanistic psychology; b) has emphasized a first...
Article
Over the past three decades, Cognition & Emotion has been one of the world’s leading outlets for emotion research. In this article, we review past highlights of and future prospects for the journal. Our tour of history covers three periods: The first period, from 1987 to 1999, was a pioneering era in which cognitive theories began to be applied to...
Book
Full-text available
Learn about the science of motivating people! How can we motivate students, patients, employees, and athletes? What helps us achieve our goals, improve our well-being, and grow as human beings? These issues. which relate to motivation and volition, are familiar to everyone who faces the challenges of everyday life. This comprehensive book by leadin...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter reviews the scholarly career of Julius Kuhl and the academic context in which he developed his work. Kuhl began his doctoral training in the late 1970s under supervision of motivation psychologists Heinz Heckhausen and Herbert Götzl at the University of Bochum, Germany. Subsequently, as a postdoc working with John Atkinson at the Unive...
Chapter
Full-text available
Common sense holds that people often fail to achieve their goals because they fail to keep their goals in mind. In this chapter, however, we suggest that, for the some people, the opposite holds, such that thinking about their goals interferes with acting upon those very goals. This paradox comes to light when we consider individual differences in...
Chapter
Full-text available
This is the preface to the edited volume 'Why people do the things they do: Integrative perspectives on motivation and volition. A Festschrift in honor of Julius Kuhl'
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: People can use inhibitory control to temporarily inhibit their personal preferences to achieve their long-term goals. According to the ego fixation model (Koole et al., 2014), ruminators have difficulties relaxing inhibitory control, leading them to continue inhibiting their personal needs, even when this is no longer required by the s...
Article
Full-text available
Vitality, or feeling alive and full of energy, is a universal human experience that is grounded in the body and linked to positive motivation, health, and wellbeing. Prior work demonstrated that demanding conditions can lower vitality, presumably by undermining intrinsic need satisfaction (Ryan & Deci, 2008). In the present research, we examined if...
Article
According to the extended trust hypothesis, the ability to cope with negative experiences is grounded in intuitive positive feelings about one's existence (Kuhl, Quirin, & Koole, 2015). In the present study, the authors empirically tested this hypothesis by examining the nonlinear dynamics in a series of day-to-day autoregressive functions of affec...
Article
Vitality, or feeling alive and full of energy, is a universal human experience that is grounded in the body and linked to positive motivation, health, and wellbeing. Prior work demonstrated that demanding conditions can lower vitality, presumably by undermining intrinsic need satisfaction (Ryan & Deci, 2008). In the present research, we examined if...
Article
Some people may avoid reading because they lack the capacity and the motivation to understand the inner thoughts and feelings of the narrator and the characters in a text. Such mentalising problems are associated with alexithymia, a personality dimension that describes individuals who experience difficulties in identifying their emotions and descri...
Article
Anger management problems are associated with heightened approach motivation in socially threatening situations. Two experiments examined whether training motivational tendencies can be used in anger management training. Participants were trained to respond to angry faces with either avoidance or approach movements, using a validated joystick task....
Article
Objective: The social present is a novel descriptor of dyadic nowness and social sharing, extending research on individual nowness (James' specious present) to the interpersonal and intersubjective domain. We wished to connect this descriptor to personality attributes. Method: We define the social present by the duration of significant nonverbal...
Article
Several lines of research in animals and humans converge on the distinction between two basic large-scale brain networks of selfregulation. An externally-guided reactive control network responds to immediate emergency challenges and is thus metabolically prioritized by the organism because of the need to survive. Its application is suited under unp...
Article
Across cultures and historical periods, people have attributed human traits to the divine. Because of the similarity between people’s mental representations of God and their mental representations of others, people’s perceptions of God may carry over to people’s perceptions of others, especially when people have recently thought about God. Two expe...
Article
Prior experiments indicated that reading literary fiction improves mentalizing performance relative to reading popular-fiction, non-fiction, or not reading (Kidd & Castano, 2013). However, the experiments had relatively small sample sizes and hence low statistical power. To address this limitation, the present authors conducted four high-powered re...