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prof. dr. Paul van Lange

Full Professor, Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences, Social Psychology

Full Professor, Amsterdam Sustainability Institute

Full Professor, IBBA

Full Professor, A-LAB

Personal information

Paul Van Lange is Professor of Psychology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Distinguished Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, and holds a Global Professorship at the University of Cologne at the Profile Social and Economic Behavior (beginning 2023). Most of his research on human cooperation and trust is grounded in the psychological, economic, and evolutionary theorizing of social interdependence. Using a variety of methodes, he studies prosocial behavior, bystander effect, social norms, gossip, empathy, fairness, parochialism, hate, and aggression. He also studies climate change, soccer, and reputation in society.

His work has been recognized by several grants and awards, including the Kurt Lewin Medal (2014, mid-career) and Lifetime Achievement Award (2023) by the European Association of Social Psychology, and team awards such as the Ammodo grant and the IgNobel prize.

He has published around 250 articles, in general theoretical or review journals such as Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Psychological Bulletin, and Annual Review of Psychology, and empirical articles in journals such as PNAS, Nature Human Behavior, Nature Communications, Journal of Environmental Psychology, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Many articles have received impact in psychology, as well as experimental economics, evolutionary (game) theory, and social neuroscience.

With various colleagues around the globe, Van Lange has published several books, including the Atlas of Interpersonal Situations (Published by Cambridge, 2003), the Handbook of Theories of Social Psychology (Published by Sage, 2012), Politics, Power, and Paranoia (Cambridge, 2014), and Social Dilemmas:  The Psychology of Human Cooperation (Published by Oxford, 2014).

He served as Associate Editor for various journals, such as Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Psychological Science, is founding editor of an interdisciplinary series on Human Cooperation (Published by Oxford), Current Opinion in Psychology, Current Research on Ecological and Social Psychology, and has served as Director of the Kurt Lewin Institute (KLI) and as President of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology (SESP). 

He also engages in outreach by contributing to media (especially opinion articles in newspapers and interviews) as well as by providing advice and workships to professionals in governance, especially mayors in the Netherlands, and serving as spokesperson for large campaigns such as #DOESLIEF by Sire.


Ancillary activities
  • Elsevier | Amsterdam | Chief Editor Current Opinion in Psychology | 2014-05-20 - 2025-12-31
  • University of Oxford | Oxford | Distinguished research fellow | 2014-09-01 - present
  • University of Cologne | Keulen | Global Professor | 2023-09-01 - present

Ancillary activities are updated daily

prof. dr. Paul van Lange