Principal Investigators
Jan De Houwer, Pieter Van Dessel

Post-Doctoral Researchers
Yannick Boddez, Martin Finn, Marine Rougier, Jamie Cummins

(not on picture: Sean Hughes, Alex Macias)

Doctoral Students
Maura Nevejans, Tilia Linthout, Matthias Raemaekers, Zita Meijer, Zhefei Mao


Lotte Wouters

Principal Investigators

Prof. dr. Jan De Houwer

Head of the LIP lab research group

Research Interests

My research concerns the manner in which spontaneous (automatic) preferences are learned and can be measured. Regarding the learning of preferences, I focus on the role of stimulus pairings (evaluative conditioning). With regard to the measurement of preferences, I developed new reaction time measures and examined the processes underlying various measures. Other research interests include associative learning, learning via instructions, and stimulus-response compatibility. I am also interested in meta-theoretical issues such as the relation between cognitive and functional psychology (i.e., behaviorism).

Academic Bibliography

Prof. Dr. Pieter Van Dessel

Research Interests

In my research, I try to unravelthe automatic mental processes that underlie behaviour and behaviour change. I focus on mental processes that involve the automatic application of beliefs (i.e., automatic inferential processes). I have developed new theories and interventions in different domains of psychological science, such as in research on learning; persuasion; automatic evaluation; prejudice; addiction; and psychopathology. I strive for the large-scale application of scientific evidence about the (cognitive) determinants of behaviour to tackle important problems at the individual, organizational or societal level. I am also a major proponent of integer and open science.

Academic Bibliography


          Post-Doctoral Researchers

          Prof. Dr. Yannick Boddez

          Research Interests

          My research concerns learning principles and their application. I have, for example, studied the role of learning in (the reduction of) psychological suffering (e.g., anxiety, grief, insomnia / fatigue) and in art appreciation. Generalization and extinction are recurrent topics in this work. 

          Academic Bibliography

          Dr. Martin Finn

          Research Interests

          My research interests include analyses of complex behavior, relational responding, and how exploring these issues informs our understanding of applied domains. Other areas that contribute to forwarding my primary research interests include the procedural features of implicit measures, measurement and experimental manipulation of implicit attitudes, functional psychology and learning psychology.

          Academic Bibliography

          Dr. Marine Rougier (affiliated)

          Research Interests

          My research interests are mainly about the measure of spontaneous preferences (such as approach and avoidance reactions) as well as on the modification of these preferences, that is, learning effects (e.g., approach/avoidance training, evaluative and attribute conditioning) and impression formation (e.g., spontaneous trait inferences). Relying on the feature transformation effect framework, my current research focuses more on how previous conceptual beliefs about features (and how they relate; e.g., trustworthiness and intelligence) can determine future learning effects.

          Academic Bibliography

          Dr. Jamie Cummins

          Research Interests

          My research focuses on developing and using computerised training procedures, based on basic principles of learning, to train relational reasoning skills in children, typically-developed adults, and older adults with cognitive impairment and dementia. I examine whether training these skills can offer clinically-meaningful improvements in the cognitive performances of these groups (e.g., better performance at school for children, reduced cognitive decline in older adults). I am also interesting more generally in the psychology of learning, implicit measures, and the philosophy of science and language. I am a strong proponent of Open Science.

          Academic Bibliography


                  Dr. Alejandro (Alex) Macias

                  Research Interests

                  Learning. Behavior analysis.

                  Dr. Sean Hughes (affiliated)

                  Research Interests

                  Learning. Education

                  Doctoral Students

                  Maura Nevejans 

                  Research Interest

                  My research focuses on social imitation: when we’re in conversation with someone, we often take the same pose as our interaction partner and even copy the gestures they make. These imitative tendencies are thought to support successful social interactions. Based on this idea, it has been argued that imitation should be moderated by the social context and that it is disrupted in individuals with autism, causing them to show difficulties during social interaction.

                  My Ph.D. project investigates these two claims. More specifically, I study how imitative tendencies are influenced by social factors, such as eye contact or the social group the interaction partners belong to, in adults with and without autism. To do this, I use a functional-cognitive perspective, starting from the idea that imitation is operant behavior that is moderated by reinforcers, discriminative stimuli, and establishing operations.

                  Academic Bibliography


                          Tilia Linthout

                          Research Interests

                          My research focuses on the development of new useful interventions based on the inferential framework. The main idea of the inferential framework is that people make automatic inferences about goals and actions available to achieve these goals. The efficacy of these interventions will be tested in applied contexts where such new interventions are highly needed.

                          More specifically, my PhD project focuses on prisons and other detention contexts. Prison is a special environment where a myriad of severe problems occur, but without solutions available to mitigate these problems (e.g., dehumanization of inmates, aggression and substance abuse amongst inmates, stigma towards inmates,…). I believe the time has come to bring psychological research into the field. Furthermore, I plan to collaborate and communicate with other experts in the field (e.g., prison directors) about their opinion on how researchers can help them best.

                          Academic Bibliography


                                  Matthias Raemaekers

                                  Research Interests

                                  My work at the LIPLab involves the study of learning from a functional psychological perspective. Currently, we are investigating complex learning effects (i.e., changes in behavior that are due to the joint effect of multiple regularities, or regularities in the presence of regularities, in the environment), including the functions that relations can have in relational learning effects and the moderators of these functions. I am also interested in the possible practical applications of this work on relational learning (e.g., relational training to increase scholastic aptitude or symbolic thinking in ASD), as well as implications for research in cognitive psychology. Furthermore, for my doctoral project, we aim to interface functional learning psychology with computational reinforcement learning models, to address the limitations of these models as well as suggest improvements, additions and predictions from a functional perspective.

                                  Academic Bibliography

                                        Zita Meijer

                                        Research Interests

                                        SMART training.

                                        Academic Bibliography

                                              Zhefei Mao

                                              Research Interests

                                              My research focuses on reducing prejudices and discriminatory behaviors, especially in real-life contexts. To do this, I currently follow the idea of inferential processes that underlie behavior change and test the effectiveness of inference-based evaluative conditioning interventions (implemented in the real world). One feature of such interventions is that people can theoretically make inferences from stimuli pairings and subsequently feel fewer reactances towards interventions. I also pay attention to other interventions that can improve intergroup evaluations and reduce discrimination.


                                              Lotte Wouters

                                              Research Interests

                                              Former members of the LIP lab

                                              Senne Braem

                                              Evelien Bossuyt

                                              Femke Cathelyn
                                              Evelyne Debey
                                              Mieke De Clercq

                                              Marie Delabie

                                              Maarten De Schryver

                                              Jeffrey De Winne 
                                              Tom Everaert
                                              Anne Gast
                                              Niclas Heider

                                              Sean Hughes

                                              Ian Hussey

                                              Ariane Jim

                                              Sarah Kasran

                                              Baptist Liefooghe
                                              Valerie Maresceau 

                                              Simone Mattavelli
                                              Gaetan Mertens 

                                              Agnes Moors

                                              Tal Moran
                                              Lies Notebaert 

                                              Sarah Opsomer

                                              James Schmidt
                                              Colin Smith

                                              Adriaan Spruyt
                                              Kristina Suchotzki
                                              Helen Tibboel
                                              Marijke Theeuwes
                                              Jolien Vanaelst

                                              Katrien Vandenbosch
                                              Julia Vogt 
                                              Dorit Wenke 
                                              Riccardo Zanon

                                              Visiting scholars

                                              2007: Matt Field
                                              2008: Jorg Huijding 
                                              2009: Helena Matute, Robert Balas
                                              2011: Miguel Vadillo
                                              2012: Bertram Gawronski 
                                              2013: Marco Perugini
                                              2013: Mandy Hütter 
                                              2013-2014: Ayumi Tanaka
                                              2015: Brian O'Shea
                                              2015: Benedek Kurdi
                                              2016: Juliane Scheill
                                              2017: Christina Ffeuffer

                                              2018: Marco Perugini

                                              2019: Niels Kukken

                                              2021: Catalina Bunghez, Florina Huzoaica, and Cristina Zogmaister

                                              2022: Anca Lazar, Cristina Maroiu

                                              2023-2024: Francesco Fedeli

                                              2024: Deborah Ferrante, Reinout Wiers