Erik Bijleveld

Since I defended my PhD thesis in February 2012, I have been working as a researcher/teacher at Utrecht University’s department of Social Psychology. Broadly, my research is concerned with motivated performance.

More specifically, I am interested in how unconscious and conscious processes shape human reward pursuit. This was the topic of my PhD thesis, and I will continue to do work within this research theme. For example, I am currently using reward priming methodology to better understand how people make financial decisions. Also, I am involved in a project in which we try to pinpoint the neural correlates of unconscious vs. conscious processes that are initiated by monetary rewards.

Second, I have recently started investigating the psychological consequences of receiving rewards for one’s activities. In this project, I am interested to learn how and when the expense of bodily effort makes people perceive their task activities to be pleasant and fun.

Finally, I am interested in sport psychology. In my research, I try to predict when athletes perform their best (and when they don’t).

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Representative publications

Bijleveld, E., Custers, R., & Aarts, H. (2010). Unconscious reward cues increase invested effort, but do not change speed-accuracy tradeoffs. Cognition, 115, 330-335.

Bijleveld, E., Custers, R., & Aarts, H. (2011). When favourites fail: Tournament trophies as reward cues in tennis finals. Journal of Sports Sciences, 29, 1463-1470.

Aarts, H., Bijleveld, E., Custers, R., Dogge, M., Deelder, M., Schutter, D., & van Haren, N.E.M. (2012). Positive priming and intentional binding: Eye blink rate predicts reward information effects on the sense of agency. Social Neuroscience, 7, 105-112.

Bijleveld, E., Custers, R., & Aarts, H. (2012). Human reward pursuit: From rudimentary to higher-level functions. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21, 194-199.

Bijleveld, E., Custers, R., & Aarts, H. (in press). Adaptive reward pursuit? How effort requirements modulate unconscious reward responses and conscious reward decisions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

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Contact information

Utrecht University
Dept. of Psychology
PO Box 80140
3508 TC Utrecht
The Netherlands
T: +31 30 253 14 74
F: +31 30 253 47 18

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