Leadership Lab meetings

About every two weeks we will have our Leadership Lab meetings. Guests are welcome, both to present ideas and to simply attend and listen. If you want to learn more or would like to attend, please contact Wendy de Waal-Andrews (dewaal.andrews@vu.nl).

Here are our most recent and upcoming meetings:

20.05.2019 MF-G502 at 12:00: René van Woudenberg (CANCELED)

03.06.2019 MF-A210 at 12:00: Leander van der Meij (TuE)
(in collaboration with Andrew Demetriou, Marina Tulin, Ileana Méndezd, and Peter Dekker, and Tila Pronk)
Title: Hormones in speed-dating: The role of testosterone and cortisol in attraction
There is evidence that testosterone and cortisol levels are related to the attraction of a romantic partner; testosterone levels relate to a wide range of sexual behaviors and cortisol is a crucial component in the response to stress. To investigate this, we conducted a speed-dating study among heterosexual singles. We measured salivary testosterone and cortisol changes in men and women (n = 79) when they participated in a romantic condition (meeting opposite-sex others, i.e., potential romantic partners), as well as a control condition (meeting same-sex others, i.e., potential friends). Over the course of the romantic speed-dating event, results showed that women’s but not men’s testosterone levels increased and cortisol levels decreased for both men and women. These findings further indicate that men’s testosterone and cortisol levels were at ceiling level in anticipation of the event, whereas for women, this appears to only be the case for cortisol. Concerning the relationship between attraction and hormonal change, four important findings can be distinguished. First, men were more popular when they arrived at the romantic speed-dating event with elevated cortisol levels. Second, in both men and women, a larger change in cortisol levels during romantic speed-dating was related to less selectivity. Third, testosterone alone was unrelated to any romantic speed-dating outcome (selectivity or popularity). However, fourth, women who arrived at the romantic speed-dating event with higher testosterone levels were more selective when their anticipatory cortisol response was low. Overall, our findings suggest that changes in the hormone cortisol may be stronger associated with the attraction of a romantic partner than testosterone is.

17.06.2019 MF-G502 at 12:00: Alexandra (Sasha) Cook (TU Chemnitz)

29.04.2019 MF-A505 at 12:00: Jan-Willem van Prooijen
Title: CUES: Basic Principles of Conspiracy Theories
Citizens across the globe widely believe conspiracy theories in which powerholders or societal groups are accused of immoral and illegal conduct. In the current presentation, I highlight four basic principles that characterize belief in conspiracy theories. These four principles are summarized through the acronym CUES: Conspiracy theories are Consequential as they have a real impact on people’s health, relationships, and safety; they are Universal as belief in them is widespread across times, cultures, and social settings; they are Emotional as negative emotions and not rational deliberations cause conspiracy beliefs; and, they are Social as conspiracy beliefs are closely associated with psychological motivations underlying intergroup conflict. At the end of my talk I illuminate how the social sciences may help design interventions to reduce conspiracy theories among the public.

06.05.2019 MF-J173 at 12:00: Gert-Jan Munneke (UvA)
Title: Evolutionary Mismatch in Moral judgement
In this presentation, I will present my PhD. research on moral cognition. How do people judge moral dilemmas? Two specific moral dilemmas are addressed: 1) How do people judge stealing, especially in the situation of physical theft versus digital theft (e.g. copyright infringement). 2) How do people judge killing; especially when killing one life can save multiple others (aka the Trolley problem). I will argue that the peculiar patterns of moral judgment that these problems elicit are best explained by the evolutionary Mismatch hypothesis. In defense of this thesis, I will showcase four dissertation chapters: 1) an EEG study on how (fast) people judge instances of theft vs. copyright infringement. 2) Behavioral studies, digging deeper into the actual determinants of the moral dissociation between physical and digital theft, 3) Similar behavioral studies on the Trolley problem. 4) Propose a symbolic logical framework as a language to formalize evolutionary aspects of moral cognition; and contemplate on potential ramifications this logical language could have for ethical philosophy: what can this research say (if anything) about what actually distinguishes right from wrong.

08.04.2019 MF-A210 at 12:00: Lara Engelbert
Title: Great Expectations: Does charismatic leadership affect information processing capacities of followers?