Unna Danner

My interest in science started in my first study year at the VU University Amsterdam. Listening to the introductory course in Social Psychology made me realise how interesting it is to study human behaviour. To investigate how interesting social psychology is outside of Amsterdam, I did an MSc at the University of Kent at Canterbury. During this year I conducted my first research and examined how women their ideas about rape (also called rape myth acceptance) influenced their perception of the risk to be sexually assaulted. This research was supervised by Gerd Bohner and motivated me to become a PhD-student. Back home, I graduated under the supervision of Wilco van Dijk on emotion regulation. Besides being a great tutor to me, I am very thankful to him as he was the one who put me in contact with Henk Aarts.

Subsequently I got my first insight that intentions do not always lead to actual behaviour. I was convinced that I would either do a PhD in the field of Health or in the field of Emotions, but eventually did my PhD in a more cognitive field of research: I studied the cognitive processes underlying habits. Under the supervision of Henk Aarts I investigated how inhibitory processes are involved in the formation and maintenance of goal-directed habits. Furthermore, I investigated the interplay between intentions and habits in the prediction of future behaviour and more specifically, the role of context stability.

Currently I am working as a PostDoc in a more applied field of research: psychological processes in eating disordered patients. This position brings together my interest in health and in science. My research will focus on the influence of emotion (dys)regulation in bulimic patients and on cognitive rigidity (set shifting deficits) in anorectic patients. This latter line of research is related to the research I conducted on habits.

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Contact information

Utrecht University
Dept. of Psychology
PO Box 80140
3508 TC Utrecht
The Netherlands
T: +31 30 253 26 86
F: +31 30 253 47 18
u.n.danner[at]uu.nl

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