Research and Education
After obtaining a PhD in Social Cognition from the University of Amsterdam in 2012, I spent some time teaching and doing research at the University of Amsterdam, as well as at University College London’s Psychology department. My research during that time focused on how people respond to novelty in their environment. Although it is generally thought that people have a preference for the things they know, we showed that novelty preference can be easily induced by having people focus on ambitions, goals, and aspirations, as well as by making people feel powerful or exposing them to certain perceptual cues.
Since September 2013, I have been a member of the Self-Regulation Lab, first as a post-doctoral researcher, and currently as an Assistant Professor in the area of health psychology, within the Social, Health, and Organizational Psychology Department of Utrecht University.
My research focuses on self-control, and specifically the kind of self-control that seems to require no to minimal effort. Using fundamental as well as more applied settings and measures, I try to uncover successful strategies and underlying mechanisms that people with high self-control use to solve self-control dilemmas and reach their long-term goals.
I teach in the Social and Health Psychology Research Master, as well as the academic bachelor and master’s programmes on social, health, and organizational psychology. Topics include self-control, self-regulation, and behavioral regulation in a broader sense, as well as health psychology, intervention development, and health promotion.
Selection of Publications
Gillebaart, M., & De Ridder, D.T.D. (2015). Effortless self-control: A novel perspective on response conflict strategies in trait self-control. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 9, 88–99. pdf
Gillebaart, M., Schneider, I.K., & De Ridder, D.T.D. (2015). Effects of trait self-control on response conflict about healthy and unhealthy food. Journal of Personality, 1-10. pdf