We study the development of addiction in a variety of domains: alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and food.

Anxiety and Depression

We are examining the development of a variety of “internalizing” problems including depression, anxiety and loneliness.

Prevention and Treatment

We’re committed to insuring that the results of virtually all our research is applied — in the short or long term — to the ultimate goal of improving children’s and ...

In the Real World

Professor wins Translational Prize: Making Science Matter

Rutger Engels wint de Huibregtsenprijs 2011 Datum bericht: 8 november 2011 Rutger ...

Bridging Science and Practice

Inside-out: Prevention and Treatment of Internalizing Problems and Co-occurrence with Externalizing Problems, ...

New Study: Monkey see, monkey eat

People adjust their intake directly to that of their eating companions; they ...

Latest Blog Posts

An introduction to the wide world of gaming

We have witnessed nothing less than a cultural genesis in the rise of video games. Over the last twenty to thirty years, gaming has gone from fringe to mainstream entertainment. As an industry, it now rivals Hollywood in budgets and revenue, and like Hollywood, it commands a large, diverse audience. In its evolution, gaming has […] read more

Drinking motives among young adults: an event-level study

By repeatedly measuring alcohol use in the event via smartphones (Ecological Momentary Assessments, EMA), we aimed to identify associations between drinking motives and young adults’ real time drinking. The paper has recently been published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. The full paper is available here! read more

The violent gaming debate through the perspective of Self Determination Theory

I was recently invited to contribute to an article about “10 groundbreaking findings in Psychology and their applicability to (serious) game design”. This is what I had to contribute. 9 others will contribute a discussion of similar length, and we hope to be submitting our work shortly. I’ll keep this blog updated on the paper’s status.   Video game […] read more

Designing Biofeedback Games for Emotion Regulation, Behavioral Change, and Maximum Engagement: The Case of Nevermind

I was recently given the opportunity to talk about the biofeedback game Nevermind, which I performed a study on in Los Angeles in Fall 2014. Here is a link to the presentation, made during Games For Health Europe 2015 (opens in new tab). You can also get the annotated slides here. (Slides didn’t optimally convert to PDF, […] read more

Faces of DEEP

Just a collection of shots I took of people playing DEEP. DEEP is an award-winning virtual reality game developed by Owen Harris (lead designer) and Niki Smit (artist). DEEP transports players to a fantastical underwater world with just one directive: this is your world to explore. Assuming a first-person perspective, the player is engulfed in a deep, calming […] read more

DEEP de-briefing: Lessons for collecting data out in the field

Last week, my colleague Marieke van Rooij and myself ran and managed a study in the midst of Cinekid’s Medialab. This project turned out to be more ambitious than we had anticipated, but I think we pulled it off quite well. That said, I think a moment of reflection is warranted to go over all the choices and […] read more

Main outcome paper universal depression prevention OVK

Our main outcome paper of OVK as universal depression prevention is online! To download the paper click here read more

Conference ‘Adolescent Depression Prevention’

On November 27th a conference on adolescent depression prevention is organized in Oss. We aim to provide health professionals with an overview of the latest research findings and we will discuss the effectiveness of depression prevention programs. In the workshops health professionals are offered the opportunity to translate the prevention programs and skills to their […] read more

Thought on VR & the future of “gaming”

Regarding the future of gaming and VR, a colleague recently asked me: What do you think will be big?? And Important? This is what I had to say on the matter: Aaaaah, THE FUTURE. A tricky thing to predict. I’m not surprised that Head Mounted Displays are seeming to take off; I say seeming because I have […] read more