Lab members

Bastiaan Rutjens

Dr. Bastiaan Rutjens (1980) is an assistant professor at the Psychology Research Institute of the University of Amsterdam, where he runs the PsySci lab. His research interests are in social and cultural psychology, within which he focuses on the psychology of belief systems and worldviews. Most of his research targets the psychology of science. Currently, his research is funded by an ERC starting grant. Find Bastiaan’s CV here, and click here for his UvA personal page. Further links:
Google scholar
Check out the music Bastiaan is listening to


Natalia Zarzeczna

Dr. Natalia Zarzeczna is a Research Associate at the University of Amsterdam. She is interested in spatial mechanisms underlying mental representation of abstract concepts. She studies meaning systems, science-religion perceptions, and science scepticism. Currently, she is working with Dr. Bastiaan Rutjens on a project to examine the role of psychological distance in science scepticism. She obtained her PhD at Cardiff University (UK) and subsequently worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham (UK) before joining the UvA. Click here for more information or view Natalia’s CV.


Bojana Većkalov

Bojana Većkalov is a PhD researcher at the psychology department of the University of Amsterdam, where she is investigating psychological distance to science as a determinant of science scepticism under the supervision of Dr. Bastiaan Rutjens and Prof. Dr. Frenk van Harreveld. Before joining the UvA, she completed her studies in psychology at the University of Belgrade, Serbia. She is interested in how belief systems such as science scepticism and conspiracy beliefs are formed and in the consequences they have for individuals and society. Click here for more information or view Bojana’s CV.


Vukašin Gligorić

Vukašin Gligorić is a PhD candidate at the Social Psychology department at the University of Amsterdam. Before joining the lab, he completed his undergraduate psychology studies at the University of Belgrade and Research Master’s at the UvA. His main research interests are social evaluations, intergroup relations, and political ideology. For his PhD, he is investigating the stereotypes of scientists, under the supervision of Dr. Bastiaan Rutjens and Prof. Gerben van Kleef. Click here for more information or view Vukašin’s CV.


Ann-Kathrin (Aki) Arui 

Ann-Kathrin (Aki) Arui is a research assistant at the PsySci Lab. She is working on projects that investigate the link between spirituality and science skepticism but also helps out with some research on the psychological distance to science. Next to studying the Psychology Research Master at the UvA with a focus on clinical/social psychology and methods, she is also very passionate about science communication and journalism.


Saara Taavila

Saara Taavila is a PhD Candidate at the Social Psychology department of the University of Amsterdam. She obtained her Master’s in Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and, prior to that, a BSc in Psychology at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Her PhD project, supervised by Dr. Bastiaan Rutjens and Dr. Nils Jostmann, investigates psychological distance to climate change. Apart from the psychology of sustainability, she is broadly interested in the process of belief formation and belief change, especially in the context of (climate) misinformation. Additionally, she is interested in political polarization and motivated reasoning.


Carlotta Reinhardt

Carlotta Reinhardt is a research assistant in the PsySci Lab. She supports research projects on the connection between religion/spirituality and science skepticism. She is in the final year of her Master’s in Psychology at the University of Hamburg. Along with psychology, she studied protestant theology and is interested in interdisciplinary research, especially in moral psychology, political activism, and prejudice. 


Eva Vogel

Eva is a research assistant at the PsySci Lab. Currently, she investigates the predictors of science skepticism and the link between religiosity and science attitudes. Eva uses her interdisciplinary background in Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (B.Sc.), to better understand and research why some people choose to reject science and what divides our society. Next to her Research Master’s in Psychology at the University of Amsterdam, she is passionate about and works in the EdTech field to help bring science and research closer to students and the broader public.



Former Members

  • Esther Niehoff, former research assistant: LinkedIn
  • Tisa Bertlich, former research assistant: LinkedIn
  • Julius März, former research assistant: LinkedIn

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