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Key Profile Area: Social and Economic Behavior

Prof. Paul A. M. van Lange

Member of the Global Faculty

Paul A. M. Van Lange is Professor of Social Psychology at the VU Amsterdam and Distinguished Research Fellow at the University of Oxford. His theory-driven research focuses human cooperation and trust, as well as on broad issues such as climate change or the refugee crisis. Many articles on social dilemmas, empathy, fairness, trust, social mindfulness, aggression have received impact in psychology, economics, and evolutionary science. His work has been recognized by several grants and awards, including the Ammodo grant from the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, The IgNobel prize, as well as Kurt Lewin Award (mid-career) and the Lifetime Achievement Award by the European Association of Social Psychology.

He is founding editor of Current Opinion in Psychology and Current Research in Ecological and Social Psychology (CRESP), and has served as President for Society of Experimental Social Psychology (SESP) and Scientific Director of the Kurt Lewin Institute (KLI). Over the past decade he gave annual workshop to mayors and other professionals in the Netherlands and Europe, and is involved in many other outreach activities including national and international media interviews and commentaries.

Representative publications:

Spadaro, G., Molho, C., Van Prooijen, J. W., Romano, A., Mosso, C. O., Van Lange, P. A. M. (2022). Corrupt third-parties undermine trust and prosocial behavior between people. Nature Human Behavior.

Van Doesum, N. J.*, Murphy, R. O., Gallucci, M., Aharonov-Majar, E., Athenstaedt, U., … Van Lange, P. A. M.* (2021). Social mindfulness and prosociality vary across the globe. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 118(35), e2023846118. 

Van Lange, P. A. M. (2024, in press).  Cooperation and conflict.  In D. Gilbert, S. T. Fiske, E. Finkel, & W. Berry Mendes (Eds).  Handbook of Social Psychology (6th Edition).

Van Lange, P. A. M., & Rand, D. G. (2022). Human cooperation and the crises of climate change, COVID-19, and misinformation.  Annual Review of Psychology, 73, 379-402.

Van Lange, P. A. M., Rinderu, M. I., & Bushman, B. J. (2017).  Aggression and violence around the world:  A model of CLimate, Aggression, and Self-control in Humans (CLASH).  Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 40, 1-12.

Contribution to KPA II:

Paul Van Lange has worked on several issues that are inherently transdisciplinary.  Examples are how to promote trust and cooperation in dyads and small groups and  how to reduce dishonesty, corruption and distrust. He is also deeply interested in intergroup conflict and beliefs of human nature with which people navigate their social lives in different societies. He has come to believe that reputation as well as subtle forms of cooperation can play a key role in promoting trust and cooperation.