How do environmental factors influence social cognition?

Department: Educational & Family studies
Section: Educational Neuroscience
Research area/-theme: social cognition, brain development, cultural influences
Researcher: Lydia Krabbendam


All day, every day, people try to predict the future. The prediction mechanism in the brain has a greater impact than you might think. Cultural persuasions lead us to believe that Dutch girls will be less proficient in exact sciences, and the consequence of this prediction is that we subconsciously give girls less encouragement to do their best than we give boys.

How strong is the effect of the predictive feedback we give to ourselves and others? And how do the reactions we receive influence our growth and development?

Lydia Krabbendam is a professor of Educational Neuroscience at VU Amsterdam and the acting director of the knowledge institute LEARN! In autumn 2013, she gave a TEDx talk in Breda about 'The power of prediction and how to use it'.