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Personal profile

Research interests

I started out my research career as a cognitive psychologist conducting laboratory research aimed at understanding the cognitive mechanisms that underlie memory as well as forgetting. I have been working on this general them within the context of a number of well-know cognitive psychological phenomena, such as the spacing effect (i.e., the finding that spaced study leads to better memory than massed study), the testing effect (i.e., the finding that retrieval practice leads to better retention than restudy), the production effect (the finding that words that have been read aloud during study are better remembered than words read silently), and the DRM-illusion (the false-memory illusion found in associated words lists). In addition, I developed an interest in the Open Science, most notably replication studies.

Like many cognitive psychologists, I am enthusiastic about implementing and studying the aforementioned cognitive psychological phenomena in practice. Due to this interest, the focus of my research shifted to question pertaining to application of (memory) principles from cognitive psychology in educational practice (mostly, higher education). This resulted in work on instructional design, i.e., the work I did with my - former - PhD-students Nicole Goossens, Gertjan Rop, Milou van Harsel, Lara van Peppen, Eva Janssen and Suzan van Brussel. In addition, another line of applied research focusses on the question of how effective learning strategies - such as spacing and retrieval practice - can be promoted in educational practice. This line is embedded in broader theoretical frameworks on self-regulated learning and formative assessment and feedback. I conduct most of my applied research at Avans University of Applied Sciences, weher I work as professor of applied sciences ("lector" in Dutch) at the Brain and Learning Research Group, which is affiliated with the Learning and Innovation Center.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Explaining the spacing effect : Study-phase retrieval, contextual-variability, and priming accounts, Erasmus University Rotterdam

1 Feb 200124 Mar 2005

Award Date: 24 Mar 2005

Master, Cognitive Psychology with a specialization in educational Psychology, Maastricht University

1 Sept 19969 Jan 2000

Award Date: 1 Oct 2000

External positions

External organisation

1 Jan 19501 Feb 2001


  • BF Psychology
  • Retrieval practice
  • Spacing effect
  • Worked Examples
  • Instructional Design
  • Critical Thinking


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