The Self-Regulation Lab is involved in health psychology courses at undergraduate and (research) master level. More information? Contact Catharine Evers

It is also possible to attend the courses at master level as an external (for more information about application see

Health Psychology Courses

Topical Issues in Health Psychology

Undergraduate level

Coordinator: Floor Kroese, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Health Psychology


Teachers: Floor Kroese, Ph.D., Rinie Geenen, Ph.D., Marieke Adriaanse, Ph.D., Catharine Evers, Ph.D., Jeroen Benjamins, Ph.D., Marleen Gillebaart, Ph.D.

Course content (taught in English): The course will address mind-body interactions in the context of everyday health challenges as well as serious, chronic diseases. For example, we will cover topics such as placebo effects, health behavior, addiction, coping with chronic illness, and psychoneuroimmunology.

Planning: February – April 2017

Self-Regulation in Health Behavior

Undergraduate level

Coordinator: Catharine Evers, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Health Psychology


Teachers: Catharine Evers, Ph.D, Prof. Denise de Ridder

Course content (taught in English):

You absolutely enjoy delicious food but you also absolutely want a slim figure? You have a hang-over and you swear that you will never drink this much again, yet at the next party you drink too much anyhow? You want to quit smoking, you know all the disadvantages of this bad habit, and still, you cannot get yourself to the point of actually stop smoking… All these topics are related to self-regulation and self-control. The goal of this course is to familiarize students with fundamental issues in the area of self-regulation, motivation, and emotion. Topics include basic self-regulatory processes such as goal setting and goal striving, self-control, and self-knowledge and facilitating and disruptive factors that influence self-regulatory processes, such as motivation, emotion (regulation) and coping, habits and automatic influences. Strategies for improving self-regulation will also be discussed. Importantly, all these topics are focused on health and health behavior.

Planning: November 2016 – February 2017 

From Theory to Intervention

Academic Master Course (Social, Health and Organizational Psychology)

Coordinator: Marleen Gillebaart, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Health Psychology


Teachers: Marleen Gillebaart, Ph.D., Floor Kroese, Ph.D., guest lectures from health intervention practice.

Course content (taught in English): In this course, a systematic method is introduced that guides the analysis of a social, health, or organizational issue. On the basis of this systematic analysis, an intervention will be developed. Furthermore, relevant literature from the fields of social, health, and organizational psychology is discussed, to form a basis for analyzing social behavior, health promotion, and issues in the organization context. Throughout the course, relevant theories as well as practical, systematic guidelines are introduced. Students can use theory and guidelines when analyzing social, health, and organizational issues, when analyzing existing successful or unsuccessful interventions, and when designing their own intervention. To this end, concrete topics and themes from the social, health, and organizational field are discussed during the course (e.g., health, productivity, collaboration, conflict, diversity, wellbeing). Students will need to use their knowledge on behavior and behavior change in order to analyze and design interventions for existing health issues. Throughout the course, students are coached by the lecturers, when to move through the different phases of designing an intervention and applying their knowledge.

Potential topics are: Prejudice and discrimination; Conflict and aggression; Habitual behaviors and unhealthy lifestyles; Loneliness among the elderly; Social relations inside organizations; Leadership, organization development, diversity at work; Productivity, commitment, and performance at work

Planning: November 2017 – February 2018 


Academic Master Course

Coordinator: Jeroen Benjamins, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Health Psychology/ Applied Cognitive Psychology


Teachers: Jeroen Benjamins, Ph.D., Floor Kroese, Ph.D., Prof. Denise de Ridder., guest lectures from nudging practice and policy.

Course content (taught in English): This course will focus on the use of nudging as a novel strategy to adapt behavior, with a particular focus on the area of health and well-being.  We address the theoretical background of nudges in comparison to other approaches for behavior modification, and incorporate empirical work providing insight into working mechanisms and (boundary conditions for) the effectiveness of nudges. In addition, taking a more practical approach, students will be challenged to think about the design of a nudge, the implementation issues that may come along with it, and the requirements for a proper evaluation of its effectiveness. Finally, the course will address the topical academic and societal debate about nudging and the role of various institutions in promoting health and well-being, including ethical considerations. pdf

Planning: November 2016– February 2017


Minor Health Behavior and Society

Undergraduate level

The minor Health, Behaviour, and Society provides an excellent background for students from social sciences and related disciplines with an interest in public health. Although being healthy is highly appreciated in our society, people may experience serious difficulties in leading a healthy lifestyle which is due to the complex interplay between individual factors of behaviour change, social arrangements, and the physical environment (e.g., urban design). Society calls for graduates with novel multidisciplinary insights to tackle the problem of improving healthy lifestyles by combining knowledge from psychology, interdisciplinary social science, and human geography. In the minor Health, Behaviour and Society students will learn to adopt such a broad multidisciplinary perspective.

Students will learn to reflect on how the health of individuals and communities can be improved by combining insights from psychology, interdisciplinary social science, and human geography. Specifically, students will learn about individual health behaviour including the psychological factors that drive people’s behaviour such as motivation, emotion and self-regulation; the more distal drivers of health, including the social relations and structural arrangements affecting people’s health and their relation with individual level processes; and insights from human geography about how the physical environment and urban design affects individual behaviour. Moreover, students will learn about the complex  interplay between people and their physical and social environment from a holistic perspective. This minor offers an excellent preparation for the master Social, Health, and Organizational Psychology, particularly the  Health Promotion track

Obligatory courses

Self-regulation in health behaviour
Health in Society
Topical issues in Health Psychology
Geographies of Health

Please see the link for additional information:


Research Master Courses


Within the Research Master program Social and Health Psychology members of the Self-Regulation Lab are involved in several courses (all taught in English) together with our colleagues of the Social and Organizational division. For example:

SHP 1 ‘Behavioral Regulation I: Affect and Motivation’

Coordinator: Catharine Evers, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Health Psychology


Course content: The primary goal of this course is to offer students an advanced understanding of how the affective system is responsible for shaping and controlling behavior and behavior-related aspects. Such understanding is pivotal in order to examine how people regulate their health and interpersonal behavior, and the way their behavior is influenced and maintained by the social and physical environment.

Teachers: Catharine Evers, Ph.D., Marleen Gillebaart, Ph.D., Prof. Marcel van den Hout

Planning: September – December 2016  

SHP 4 ‘Integrative Practicum I: Research Skills’

Coordinator: Marieke Adriaanse, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in Health Psychology


Teachers: Marieke Adriaanse, Ph.D., Floor Kroese, Ph.D.

Course content: In this course students develop and improve academic research skills, such as formulating research questions and hypotheses, translating research questions into research designs, deciding which multivariate statistical technique to use to investigate different types of research questions, analyzing and interpreting data, and writing a research paper suitable for peer-reviewed international publication.

Planning: September – December 2016  


SHP 6 ‘Advances in Research on Behavioral Regulation II: Health and Behavior’

Coordinator: Denise de Ridder, Ph.D., Professor in Health Psychology


Teachers: Marleen Gillebaart, Ph.D., David Marchiori, Ph.D., Sanne Nauts, Ph.D., Marijn Stok, Ph.D.

Course content: This course presents an advanced overview of processes of behavioral regulation in current theories on health and health behavior. To this end, a state-of-the-art overview is presented of the essence of the psychology of health, as well as a specialized introduction to advanced issues studied in health psychology. Students are invited to critically reflect on core theoretical approaches and how these may explain basic aspects of the psychology of behavioral regulation as manifested in the realm of physical health and mental wellbeing. The course discusses up-to-date overviews of and insights into research on the main topics of health psychology at Utrecht University: health problems related to self-control and temptation, justification processes, planning and procrastination, and health promotion and nudging.

Planning: February – May 2017

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