I am a PhD researcher in the department of Environmental Economics of the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. My main interests are experimental economics and behavioral economics. My PhD project aims at improving individual flood-preparedness by finding the determinants of individual decisions to invest in flood damage mitigation measures.
I have a research master in Neuroeconomics from Maastricht University, with a particular focus on experimental economics and behavioural economics. My MSc thesis examined the possibilities of virtual reality (VR) as a new tool in experimental economics.
MSc in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience (Research Master, Neuroeconomics), 2016
BSc in Liberal Arts & Sciences (Social Sciences), 2014
Flooding is one of the most significant natural disasters worldwide. Nevertheless, voluntary take-up of individual damage reduction measures is low. A potential explanation is that flood risk perceptions of individual homeowners are below objective estimates of flood risk, which may imply that they underestimate the flood risk and the damage that can be avoided by damage reduction measures. The aim of this paper is to assess possible flood risk misperceptions of floodplain residents in the Netherlands, and to offer insights into factors that are related with under- or overestimation of perceived flood risk. We analyzed survey data of 1848 homeowners in the Dutch river delta and examine how perceptions of flood probability and damage relate to objective risk assessments, such as safety standards of dikes, as well as heuristics, including the availability heuristic and the affect heuristic. Results show that many Dutch floodplain inhabitants significantly overestimate the probability, but underestimate the maximum expected water level of a flood. We further observe that many respondents apply the availability heuristic. Open access PDF at publisher
We conducted an experiment in a high-immersive virtual reality environment to study the effect of the presence of a virtual observer on cheating behavior. Par- ticipants were placed in a virtual room and played 30 rounds of a cheating game without a chance of their cheating being detected. We varied whether or not a vir- tual observer (an avatar) was present in the room, and, if so, whether the avatar was actively staring at the decision maker or passively seated in a corner watching his smartphone. Results display significantly less cheating with an active than with a passive avatar, but not less cheating than in a control condition without an avatar. This suggests that an active (virtual) observer can intensify reputational concerns, but that the presence of someone passive and uninterested may actually alleviate such concerns. Open access PDF at publisher
Adequately reflecting the severity of tropical cyclones using the new Tropical Cyclone Severity Scale. With Nadia Bloemendaal, Hans de Moel, Priscilla Bosma, Amy Polen and Jennifer Collins.
After the virtual flood. Virtual reality experiment on flooding experiences with Wouter Botzen and Julia Blasch.
Changing diets - Testing the impact of knowledge and information nudges on sustainable dietary choices. With Meike Morren, Julia Blasch and Žiga Malek.
All by myself? Testing descriptive social norm-nudges to increase flood preparedness among homeowners. With Wouter Botzen, Julia Blasch, Elissa Kranzler and Howard Kunreuther.