Universiteit Leiden

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Marieke Adriaanse

Professor Behavioral Interventions in Population Health Management

Prof.dr. M.A. Adriaanse
+31 71 527 9500

Marieke is Professor ‘Behavioural Interventions in Population Health’. This is a combined chair of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FSW) which is part of the interdisciplinary Population Health programme. Marieke works at the department of Public Health and Primary Care on the LUMC Campus The Hague and at the department of Health, Medical and Neuropsychology in Leiden.

More information about Marieke Adriaanse

Behavioural interventions in population health

Insight into the contextual and psychological mechanisms driving (un)healthy behaviour is necessary in order to develop effective strategies and interventions that promote healthy behaviour. Behaviour and behaviour change is therefore a central element in the interdisciplinary approach to health promotion and disease prevention. As newly appointed professor Behavioural Interventions in Population Health (2021) I aim to apply my expertise on behaviour change as a central element in the interdisciplinary Population Health research and teaching programme at the LUMC Campus The Hague.


Four central themes in my research are:

  • Self-regulation and self-control. A big part of my research involves developing and testing self-regulation strategies that aid individuals in their efforts to behave more healthily. An example of such a strategy is the use of cue-based planning (implementation intentions) to overcome the so-called intention-behaviour gap when trying to increase health promoting behaviours or decrease unhealthy habits, such as unhealthy eating habits. Self-control, or willpower, is another related theme in my research. In 2017, I co-edited the Routledge International Handbook on Self-Control in Health and Well-Being together with Denise de Ridder and Kentaro Fujita.
  • Nudging. In addition to self-regulation strategies I also study the use of nudging. Behavior is not only influenced by individual motivation and capacities, but also by the environment or the ‘choice-architecture’. Nudges are an umbrella term for strategies that make use of these insights by altering the environment in such a way that it becomes more likely that individuals make a desired (healthy) choice). An example of nudging is the use of defaults. In addition to studying their effectiveness, I am also interested in understanding when nudges are considered acceptable and how nudging affects individuals’ autonomy.
  • Habit vs. intention: A large part of our behaviour is habitual. Habits can help us to maintain healthy behaviours when we are stressed or tired, but when we have created unhealthy habits they may also be particularly resistant to change. With my research I study the interplay between deliberate (e.g., good intentions) and more automatic processes (habits) on behaviour and behaviour change.  I seek to better understand how habits are formed, and which factors promote habit formation and breaking. A very brief accessible lecture (in Dutch) for De Universiteit van Nederland in which I explain why habits can make it difficult for us to act on our good intentions can be found here.
  • Failure. Building on an NWO funded VENI project (2011-2015), that aimed at understanding how people interpret and respond to instances of self-regulation failure, I am developing and testing self-regulation interventions that promote adaptive response to failure that prevent failure from ‘snowballing’ into subsequent failure.


I teach in various courses at the Health, Medical and Neuropsychology department on topics such Health Promotion and Primary Prevention. At the LUMC campus The Hague I am a lecturer in the interdisciplinary Master Population Health Management.

Open science, recognition and rewards

I am an advocate for Open Science and an alternative approach to recognition and rewarding in academia.

Academic career

Marieke received her PhD (2010) in Health Psychology at Utrecht University. After that, she worked at Utrecht University as an Assistant Professor (2010-2015) and Associate Professor (2016-2021).

Professor Behavioral Interventions in Population Health Management

  • Faculteit Geneeskunde
  • Divisie 3
  • Public Health en Eerstelijnsgeneeskunde

Work address

Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague
Room number 3.20a


Professor Behavioural Interventions in Population Health Management

  • Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
  • Instituut Psychologie
  • Gezondheids, Medische- Neuropsychologie

Work address

Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden
Room number 2A05



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