In 2006 I started working on a PhD project on habits and implementation intentions at the Self-Regulation Lab (UU; Department of Clinical and Health Psychology). The research conducted during my PhD centered around the question of whether implementation intentions (specific action plans specifying where, when, and how to act) can be used to overrule unwanted automatic behaviors (i.e., habits). In my dissertation, I investigated cognitive as well as behavioral effects of implementation intentions, and I compared different types of implementation intentions to identify the boundary conditions of implementation intentions’ effectiveness when aiming to break habits.
In 2010 I was appointed as an Assistant Professor and since 2016 I am an Associate Professor at the Selfregulationlab (which is now part of the Department of Social, Health and Organizational Psychology of Utrecht University). Currently, my main line of research, for which I received a VENI grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) in 2011, involves exploring the immediate and long-term psychological consequences of unconscious (unhealthy) behavior instigation. This research project has started in January 2012 and will run until August 2017. Over the past few years I have supervised several PhD-projects, such a project investigating whether the combination of cue-monitoring and implementation intentions can be effective in breaking unhealthy eating habits (Verhoeven). Moreover, I supervised a PhD-project examining the effectiveness of a self-regulation intervention that includes planning as one of its central components in initiating and maintaining a healthier diet in an overweight sample (Vinkers). I was also a supervisor on a PhD-project investigating how to promote healthy food choices under conditions of low self-control (Salmon). Presently, I am advisor on a PhD-project examining the underlying mechanisms of nudging (van Gestel) and I am involved as an advisor on a Post-Doc project on Nudging (Marchiori).
I am involved as a coordinator and lecturer in the course Integrative Practicum I of the Research Master “Social and Health Psychology” (SHP) and I am a lecturer in the Bachelor and Master program of Health Psychology. Throughout the year, I supervise students’ Bachelor and (Research) Master theses and internships.
Selection of Publications
Adriaanse, M. A., Weijers, J., De Ridder, D. T. D., De Witt-Huberts, J. & Evers, C. (2014). Confabulating reasons for behaving bad: The psychological consequences of unconsciously activated behaviour that violates one’s standards. European Journal of Social Psychology, 44, 255-266. pdf
Adriaanse, M. A., Van Oosten, J. M. F., De Ridder, D. T. D., De Wit, J. B. F., & Evers, C. (2011). Planning what not to eat: Ironic effects of implementation intentions negating unhealthy habits. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 69-81. pdf
Adriaanse, M. A., De Ridder, D. T. D., & De Wit, J. B. F. (2009). Finding the critical cue: Implementation intentions to change one’s diet work best when tailored to personally relevant reasons for unhealthy eating. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 60-71. pdf