Universiteit Leiden

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Erik de Kwaadsteniet

Assistant Professor

Dr. E.W. de Kwaadsteniet
+31 71 527 4109

Short CV

In 2002, Erik de Kwaadsteniet earned his Master’s degree in Social and Organizational Psychology at Utrecht university. In that same year, he started as a PhD candidate at Leiden University. For his dissertation, supervised by Eric van Dijk, Arjaan Wit and David De Cremer, he conducted research on the effects of uncertainty in social dilemmas. In October 2007, he successfully defended his thesis. Since then, he has been working as an Assistant Professor at Social and Organizational Psychology, conducting research on social dilemmas and tacit coordination.  


Tacit coordination
In 2005, Thomas Schelling received the Nobel Prize in Economics. He received this prize partly for his research on tacit coordination, the idea that people can often effectively coordinate their decisions even in the absence of communication. To give a simple example: Imagine that you lost your best friend somewhere in Amsterdam (and you left your mobile phone at home). What would you do to find your friend back? In my research, I focus on the psychological processes that underlie tacit coordination. 

Social dilemmas
Social dilemmas are situations in which people experience a conflict between their own self-interest and the interest of the group to which they belong. In such situations, people thus have to choose between being selfish (choosing for themselves) and being cooperative (choosing for their group). In my research, I investigate the factors that influence cooperation in social dilemmas.


Social Psychology in Organisations (Bachelor Psychology)
​​​​​​​Economic and Consumer Psychology (Bachelor Psychology)
Negotiation and Social Decision Making (Master SOP) 
​​​​​​​Bachelor Project Supervision (Bachelor Psychology)
Thesis and Internship Supervision (Master SOP & ECP)


  • UTOPA grant. The role of trust in economic decisions (grant for PhD project, obtained together with Prof. Dr. Eric van Dijk and Dr. Wilco van Dijk). September 2014 - ongoing. 
  • NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) Open Competition grant. The willingness to punish non-cooperation and reward cooperation in social dilemmas. (grant for PhD project, obtained together with Prof. Dr. Eric van Dijk). May 2011 - April 2015.


  • Best Student Paper Award at the 16th International Conference on Social Dilemmas for Molenmaker, W. E., De Kwaadsteniet, E. W., Van Dijk, E. (2015). The (un)willingness to sanction individually and jointly. Paper presented at the 16th International Conference on Social Dilemmas (ICSD) in Hong Kong, China. 
  • Finalist for the APA Division 49 (Group Psychology and Group Psychotherapy) Dissertation Award 2008.


  • Kurt Lewin Institute (KLI; Full member) 
  • European Association of Social Psychology (EASP; Full member) 
  • Dutch Association for Social Psychological Research (ASPO)
  • Member of the Steering Committee of the International Conference on Social Dilemmas (ICSD) 

Relevant links

Social dilemmas
LinkedIn profile    

Assistant Professor

  • Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
  • Instituut Psychologie
  • Soc., Econom. en Organisat Psych.

Work address

Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 2A33



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