Universiteit Leiden

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Welmer Molenmaker

Assistant Professor

Dr. W.E. Molenmaker
+31 71 527 1440

Short CV

Welmer Molenmaker is an Assistant Professor of Social, Economic, and Organisational Psychology. He received his research master’s degree in Psychology at the University of Amsterdam in 2011 and his PhD in Psychology at Leiden University in 2017. For his PhD, Welmer studied the (un)willingness to reward and punish others in social dilemmas.


Welmer Molenmaker's main research interest is social-economic decision-making. Specifically, he studies the psychological foundations of human cooperation and how people respond to the cooperative or selfish behaviors of others.

Why do people cooperate?

The greatest challenge for all societies, regardless of how advanced they are, is to ensure and protect the collective welfare. This challenge arises from the fact that the interests of the collective do not necessarily coincide with the personal interests of the people belonging to that collective. Thus, on many occasions, people face a dilemma between furthering the collective interests or furthering their personal interests. Despite this 'dilemma', empirical research has consistently shown that people frequently cooperate with each other, even if they do not know each other. Welmer’s research is aimed at answering the question why people cooperate with others.


  • Motivation, Power, and Leadership (Master's Programme in Psychology)
  • Negotiation and Social Decision Making (Master's Programme Social & Organisational Psychology)
  • Master Thesis Supervision (Master's Programmes Social & Organisational Psychology and Economic & Consumer Psychology)
  • Bachelor Thesis Supervision (undergraduate)


  • Postgraduate travel grant by the European Association of Social Psychology (2014)
  • Leiden University fund grant (2014)


  • Best Student Paper Award at the 16th International Conference on Social Dilemmas, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (2016)
  • Scholar Award by the Dispute Resolution Research Center at Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University (2014)

Relevant links

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 2A32



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