Due to the Corona virus it is unclear how the programmes will take place. For the latest news please check the course page in Blackboard/Brightspace.


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Social Judgment and Decision Making


Admission requirements

MSc Psychology (research) students


This course provides an overview of findings in (social) psychological research on social judgement and decision-making. We will review work regarding diverse topics, including feelings and decision making, positive illusions and optimism, regret and disappointment, affective forecasting, power and consumption, empathy, and morality. In the meetings students will present empirical papers on one of the topics, which will be followed by a discussion. On the basis of the seminar meetings and relevant readings, students will develop two research proposals, in which they have to provide a specified research question, hypotheses with rationale based on literature reviews, and a proposed research design to test their hypotheses.

Course objectives

The course is designed to: a) enhance students’ understanding of the concepts, methods, and research findings central to the study of social judgement and decision making; b) enhance students’ scientific thinking through reviewing, evaluating, and discussing existing literature on social judgement and decision making; and c) enhance students’ students’ research skills through writing a research proposal.


Social Judgment and Decision Making (2014-2015):



Students need to enroll for lectures and work group sessions. Please consult the Instructions registration

Mode of instruction

Seminars (attendance of meetings is obligatory).

Assessment method

Assessment is based on

  • Presentations

  • Discussion questions

  • Research proposals

The Faculty of Social Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud


Information on blackboard.leidenuniv.nl

Reading list

  • Armor, D. A., & Taylor, S. E. (1998). Situated optimism: Specific outcome expectancies and self-regulation. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 30, pp. 309-379). New York: Academic Press.

  • Bar-Anan, Y., Wilson, T. D., & Gilbert, D. T. (2009). The feeling of uncertainty intensifies affective reactions. Emotion, 9, 123-127.

  • Brosnan, S. F. & de Waal, F. B. M. (2003). Monkeys reject unequal pay. Nature, 424, 297-299.

  • Carlsmith, K. M., Wilson, T. D., & Gilbert, D. T. (2008). The paradoxical consequences of revenge. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1316-1324.

  • De Quervain, D. J.-F., Fischbacher, U., Treyer, V., Schellhammer, M., Schnyder, U., Buck, A., & Fehr, E. (2004). The neural basis of altruistic punishment. Science, 305, 1254-1258.

  • De Waal, F. B. M. & Berger, L. M. (2000). Payment for labour in monkeys. Nature, 404, 563.

  • De Waal, F. B. M. (2004). On the possibility of animal empathy. In A. S. R. Manstead, N. Frijda & A. Fischer (Eds.), Feelings and emotions, the Amsterdam symposium (pp. 381-401). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • De Waal, F. B. M. (2005). How animals do business. _Scientific American, 292, _73-79.

  • Fehr, E., & Gächter, S. (2002). Altruistic punishment in humans. Nature, 415, 137-140.

  • Fredrickson, B., L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2, 300-319.

  • Galinsky, A. D., Magee, J. C., Inesi, M. E., & Gruenfeld, D. H. (2006). Power and perspectives not taken. Psychological Science, 17, 1068-1074.

  • Gilbert, D. T., Lieberman, M. D., Morewedge, C. K., & Wilson, T. D. (2004). The peculiar longevity of things not so bad. Psychological Science, 15, 14-19.

  • Griskevicius, V, Goldstein, N. J., Mortenson, C. R., Sundie, J. M., Cialdini, R. B., & Kenrick, D. T. (2009). Fear and loving in Las Vegas: Evolution, emotion, and persuasion. Journal of Marketing Research, 46, 384-395.

  • Griskevicius, V., Tybur, J. M., & Van den Bergh, B. (2010). Going green to be seen: Status, reputation, and conspicuous conservation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98, 392-404.

  • Haidt, J. (2001). The emotional dog and its rational tail: A social intuitionist approach to moral judgment. Psychological Review, 108, 814-834.

  • Han, S., Lerner, J. S., & Keltner, D. (2007). Feelings and consumer decision making: The appraisal-tendency framework. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 17, 158-168.

  • Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

  • Keltner, D., & Lerner, J. S. (in press). Emotion. In: S. T. Fiske & D. Gilbert (Eds.). The handbook of social psychology (5th ed.). New York; Wiley.

  • Lerner, J. S., Gonzalez, R. M., Small, D. A., & Fischhoff, B. (2003). Effects of fear and anger on perceived risk of terrorism: A national field experiment. Psychological Science, 14, 144-150.

  • Lerner, J. S., Small, D. A., & Loewenstein, G. (2004). Heart strings and purse strings: Carry-over effects of emotions on economic decisions. Psychological Science, 15, 337-341.

  • Nelissen, R. M. A., & Meijers, M. H. C. (2011). Social benefits of luxury brands as costly signals of wealth and status. Evolution and Human Behavior, 32, 343-355.

  • Preston, S. D., & de Waal, F. B. M. (2002). Empathy: Its ultimate and proximate bases. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 25, 1-20.

  • Rucker, D. D., & Galinsky, A. D. (2008). Desire to Acquire: Powerlessness and Compensatory Consumption. Journal of Consumer Research, 35, 257-267.

  • Rucker, D. D., & Galinsky, A. D. (2009). Conspicuous consumption versus utilitarian ideals: How different levels of power shape consumption. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 549-555.

  • Rucker, D. D., Galinsky, A. D., & Dubois, D. (2012). Power and consumer behavior: How power shapes who and what consumers value. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 22, 352-368.

  • Schnall, S., Roper, J., & Fessler, D. M. T. (2010). Elevation leads to altruistic behavior. Psychological Science, 21, 315-320.

  • Shepperd, J. A., Ouellette, J. A., & Fernandez, J. K. (1996). Abandoning unrealistic optimism: Performance estimates and the temporal proximity of self-relevant feedback. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 844-855.

  • Singer, T., Seymour, B., O’Doherty, J. P., Stephan, K. E., Dolan, R. J., & Frith, C. D. (2006). Empathic neural responses are modulated by the perceived fairness of others. Nature, 439, 466-469.

  • Sivanathan, N., & Pettit, N. C. (2010). Protecting the self through consumption: Status goods as affirmational commodities. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 564-570.

  • Small, D. A., & Lerner, J. S. (2008). Emotional policy: Personal sadness and anger shape judgments about a welfare case. Political Psychology, 29, 149-168.

  • Tangney, J. P., Stuewig, J., & Mashek, D. J. (2007). Moral emotions and moral behavior, Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 345–372.

  • Tykocinski, O. E. (2001). I never had a change: using hindsight tactics to mitigate disappointments. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 376-382.

  • Van Dijk, W. W., & Van Harreveld, F. (2008). Disappointment and regret. In N. M. Ashkanasy & C. L. Cooper (Eds.), Research companion to emotions in organizations (pp. 90-102). London: Edward Elgar Publishers.

  • Van Dijk, W. W., Van Dillen, L. F., Seip, E. C., & Rotteveel, M. (2012). Emotional time travel: Emotion regulation and the overestimation of future anger and sadness. European Journal of Social Psychology, 42, 308-313.

  • Van Dijk, W.W., Zeelenberg, M., & van der Pligt, J. (2003). Blessed are they who expect nothing: Lowering expectations as a way of avoiding disappointment. Journal of Economic Psychology, 24, 505-516.

  • Van Kleef, G. A., Oveis, C., Van der Löwe, I., LuoKogan, A., Goetz, J., & Keltner, D. (2008). Power, distress, and compassion: Turning a blind eye to thesuffering of others. Psychological Science, 19, 1315-1322.

  • Wilson, T. D. & Gilbert, D. T. (2005). Affective forecasting: Knowing what to want. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14, 131-134.

  • Wilson, T. D., & Gilbert, D. T. (2008). Explaining away. A model of affective adaptation. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3, 370-386.

  • Zeelenberg, M., & Pieters, R. (2004). Consequences of regret aversion in real life: The case of the Dutch postcode lottery. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 93, 155-168.

Contact information

Dr. W. W. van Dijk
Room 2A-21
Tel: 071 5276844
E-mail: dijkwvan@fsw.leidenuniv.nl