Assistant Professor • Leiden University

ABOUT ME

The brief introduction of myself

I am an Assistant Professor of Social, Economic, and Organizational Psychology at Leiden University and a member of the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC). My main research interest is social and economic decision-making. Specifically, I focus on human cooperation in social dilemmas and individuals' reciprocal responses to the cooperative and selfish behaviors of others.

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WELMER E. MOLENMAKER
Assistant Professor | Leiden University

Welmer Molenmaker obtained his research master's degree in psychology at the University of Amsterdam in 2011. From 2011 to 2015, he worked as PhD candidate at Leiden University. His PhD project focused on the (un)willingness to reward cooperation and punish non-cooperation. Currently, he works as Assistant Professor of Social, Economic, and Organizational Psychology at Leiden University and is a member of the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC).

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MY RESUME

work experience

my professional background

Present
September
2015
Leiden University
Leiden, The Netherlands
Assistant Professor

Currently, I am an Assistant Professor of Social, Economic, and Organizational Psychology at Leiden University....

August
2015
September
2011
Leiden University
Leiden, The Netherlands
PhD Candidate

I was a PhD Candidate at the Social, Economic, and Organizational Psychology unit of Leiden University. My supervisors were Prof. Eric van Dijk and Dr. Erik W. de Kwaadsteniet. The topic of my dissertation was the (un)willingness to reward cooperation and punish non-cooperation....

MAIN RESEARCH INTERESTS

01
Willingness to cooperate
Why do people cooperate?

The greatest challenge for all societies is to ensure and protect collective welfare. This challenge arises from the fact that the interests of the collective do not necessarily coincide with the personal interests of the people belonging to that collective. Thus, on many occasions, people face a dilemma between furthering the collective interests or furthering their personal interests. Despite this 'dilemma', empirical research has consistently shown that people frequently cooperate with each other, even if they do not know each other. My research is aimed at answering the question of why people cooperate with others....

02
(un)willingness to reward & punish
Why are people (un)willing to reward cooperation and punish non-cooperation?

One of the most straightforward ways to protect the collective welfare is to use sanctions. Numerous experiments have consistently shown that positive sanctions (rewards) for cooperation and negative sanctions (punishments) for non-cooperation can effectively enhance cooperation. Although this is an important insight, a critical question remains: Are people actually willing to sanction? This question is of critical importance, if only for the obvious reason that someone should first be willing to administer rewards and punishments before they can show their effects. My research is aimed at answering the question of why people are (un)willing to reward cooperation and punish non-cooperation....

03
Effectivness of reward & punishment
How effective are reward and punishment in enforcing cooperation?

Reward and punishment can help to enforce group cooperation. Yet, this requires that humans direct their rewards at cooperators and their punishments at non-cooperators, both indiscriminately and exclusively. Whenever they, for example, punish some non-cooperators more than others or altogether condition punishment on other factors than lack of cooperation, punishment may lose its effectiveness to enforce cooperation. My research is aimed at answering the questions of how people use reward and punishment, and what consequences this may have on cooperation....

Publications

Browse my recent work

JBDM2021
JESP2019
JBDM2018
In-Mind2017
OBHDP2016
COiP2015
OBHDP2014
ASPO2013

CONTACT ME

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Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden

+31 (0)71 527 1440

w.e.molenmaker at fsw.leidenuniv.nl