Yaël de Liver

Yaël de Liver studied psychology at the University of Amsterdam where she obtained a M.Sc in Social Psychology (cum laude) in 2001. After working for a short while as a junior researcher at the Vrije Universiteit, she returned to the UvA where she worked on a dissertation project entitled 'structural characteristics, affective reactions and ambivalence of preferences'. Since January 2006 she is a post-doc/assistant professor at Utrecht University, Social and Organizational Psychology.

I am interested in evaluative conflict in the broadest sense: conflict between positive and negative affect, between implicit and explicit attitudes, between physiological responses and overt behavior or between different aspects of the self, different goals and so on. I am interested in the determinants and consequences of such conflicts, under what circumstances they are more and less prominent and how they affect the various aspects of information processing.

In my dissertation project I have focused on ambivalent attitudes: Attitudes toward people, behaviors, moral dilemma's or any other stimuli, that are characterized by strong positive and negative associations. I am interested in how such attitudes are represented in memory and how these conflicting evaluations can influence information processing both simultaneously and independently. A central idea in my research is that ambivalence is not always equally strong, but can vary as a function of (internal and external) contextual factors. For instance, when someone is ambivalent about a minority group, that person may react very positive to a member of that group in one context (e.g. in a bar) but very negative once the context changes (e.g. at work). Likewise, health behaviors, may be influenced by the fact that a stimulus (e.g. chocolate, a gym) simultaneously activates positive and negative evaluations. Questions I am interested in: is such conflict always uncomfortable or can it be beneficial? What is the relation between cognitive capacity, motivation and ambivalence? How do people integrate conflicting evaluations into behavior?

Other research interests are: implicit and explicit attitude measurement, relation between affect and cognition, the role of specific emotions on information processing, automatic and controlled processes, stereotyping.

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Contact information

University of Amsterdam
Dept. of Social Psychology

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