Universiteit Leiden

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Esther van den Bos

Assistant Professor

Dr. E.J. van den Bos
+31 71 527 6868

Esther van den Bos is an assistant professor in the unit Developmental and Educational Psychology of the Institute of Psychology at Leiden University.

More information about Esther van den Bos

Short CV

Esther van den Bos is an assistant professor in the unit Developmental and Educational Psychology of the Institute of Psychology at Leiden University. 

Esther obtained her PhD in Cognitive Psychology from Leiden University in 2007. She wrote her thesis on implicit learning of artificial grammars, under supervision of dr. Fenna Poletiek and prof. dr. Bernhard Hommel. She received a Niels Stensen Fellowship to study statistical learning of language-like structures in the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at Cornell University in 2007-2008. Subsequently, she worked as a lecturer at the Free University of Amsterdam. 

In 2011, Esther returned to Leiden as a postdoctoral researcher in the Developmental and Educational Psychology unit. She became involved in the Social Anxiety and Normal Development – study, investigating the normal development of physiological and neuroendocrine responses to public speaking. Her research specifically addressed the question of how the development of these responses is related to physical and socio-cognitive development in adolescence.


Esther’s current research focuses on social anxiety: the fear of being scrutinized or evaluated by others in social situations. She aims to discover whether adolescents with high levels of social anxiety or public speaking anxiety show a developmental pattern of physical stress responses and social behavior (e.g. eye-contact) that is different from their low anxious age-peers. Knowledge of such differences may contribute to early detection of social anxiety disorder. In addition, Esther is interested in interventions to improve the social functioning of socially anxious youth.

In her research, Esther uses physiological and neuroendocrine measures, eye-tracking and virtual reality.


  • General coordinator of the Master's specialisation School Psychology
  • Course coordinator School-based Prevention and Intervention
  • supervision of internal practical internships (School Psychology)
  • supervision of research internships
  • supervision of Master's thesis
  • supervision of Bachelor projects


  • 2019 Leiden University Fund: "Kijk eens aan!" (€12.5K)
  • 2018 Profile area Brain Function and Dysfunction over the Lifespan (LU): starting grant virtual reality project, in collaboration with Mariska Kret (€43.6K)
  • 2008 Cornell Cognitive Science Program, travel grant ($794)
  • 2007 Niels Stensen Fellowship (€30K)

Supervision of PhD candidates

Assistant Professor

  • Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
  • Instituut Psychologie
  • Ontwikkelings- & Onderwijspsychologie

Work address

Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 3B49



No relevant ancillary activities

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