Jan-Willem van Prooijen

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+31 20 59 88851
faculteit der gedrags- en bewegingswetenschappen ( sectie sociale & organisatiepsychologie )
Associate professor

Personal webpage

For a more up-to-date and elaborate overview of my academic activities, and for downloads of my publications, please visit my personal webpage: www.janwillemvanprooijen.com

Professional interests

My research program is focused on social justice, paranoia, and political psychology. In my research on social justice, I examine topics such as procedural justice (i.e., the extent to which people evaluate the decision-making procedures that leaders use as fair), the severity of punishment that people endorse for offenders, and fairness-based responses to crime victims. How do social factors such as group membership, or power, influence the severity of punishment that people endorse? Why do people sometimes blame innocent victims for their fate? My work on paranoia addresses the societal phenomenon of belief in conspiracy theories. What psychological factors predict whether people endorse or reject conspiracy theories? What cognitive, motivational, and group-dynamic processes are involved when people experience paranoia about leaders? Finally, recently my work expanded to broader issues in political psychology with research on ideological extremism. How do the political extremes differ from moderates? In what ways does the extreme left differ from the extreme right, and in what ways are they similar? My research takes an interdisciplinary approach to these issues, with social psychology as main field of expertise, but with close collaborative connections to fields such as organizational psychology, criminology, and political science.     

Highlighted publications

Prooijen, J.-W. van (2009). Procedural justice as autonomy regulation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 1166-1180. 

Van Prooijen, J.-W., Coffeng, J., & Vermeer, M. (2014). Power and retributive justice: How trait information influences the fairness of punishment among power holders. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 50, 190-201.

Prooijen, J.-W. van & Bos, K. van den (2009). We blame innocent victims more than I do: Self-construal level moderates responses to just world threats. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 1528-1539.  

Van Prooijen, J.-W., & Van Dijk, E. (2014). When consequence size predicts belief in conspiracy theories: The moderating role of perspective taking. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 55, 63-73.

Van Prooijen, J.-W., & Van Lange, P. A. M. (Eds.) (2014).  Power, politics, and paranoia: Why people are suspicious of their leaders. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.





- Applying theories to societal issues (1-yr Master; September / October) 

- Introduction Social Psychology (BA-1; Februar / March).