About TLC

History of TLC

TLC started in 2009 with the merger of two departments, Social Psychology and Work & Organizational Psychology. Before 2009 there were two separate research programs “social interaction” (leaders, Prof. Rusbult and Prof Van Lange) and “management of individual differences and social processes in organizations” (leader, Prof. Van der Flier, interim Prof. Kelderman). With the appointment of Prof. van Vugt (to replace the retired van der Flier) and the loss of Prof. Rusbult (in 2009) the programs were merged into one, TLC, with foci on classic social psychology themes such as trust and cooperation and organizational psychology themes such as leadership and diversity.

TLC is embedded within the department of Social and Organizational Psychology (see section department S&O) with an international focus (staff and PhD-students come from no fewer than 7 countries). There are regular colloquia, brown-bag research meetings, and an annual mini-conference where staff and PhD’s present their research to each other. Presentations at prestigious conferences are financially supported (each staff and PhD receive an annual personal budget).


There are VU-collaborations with computer sciences (for modeling), Camera (in Dutch) (for virtual reality), and VU-Medical Center (for hormonal and twin research). TLC ensures high quality training for PhD’s through courses offered through the Kurt Lewin Institute and Faculty of Behavioural and Human Movement Sciences Graduate School.

Much of the research is conducted with students of our Masters courses, in particular the 2-year Research Masters which offers high class research training for aspiring PhD-students (80% of graduates get into PhD-positions) through in-house and international experts (Amodio, Baumeister, Tice, Williams). TLC-members work with scientists at  universities around the globe (including Oxford, Singapore, UCLA), and the Department is a popular hub for US and European researchers.

Research Facilities

The department offers excellent research facilities and staff and PhD’s have access to dedicated labs for experimental research, including labs for observation, physiological research (ERP), and neuro-imaging. 

For more information on lab facilities of the faculty of Psychology and Education see Research Facilities.