Author Archives: Kees van den Bos

Kees van den Bos

About Kees van den Bos

Kees van den Bos is Professor of Social Psychology Including the Social Psychology of Organizations (since 2001) and Professor of Empirical Legal Science (since 2013). His main research interests focus on experienced fair and unfair treatment, morality, cultural worldviews, trust, prosocial behavior, and radicalization, extremism, and terrorism. Insights that follow from this basic research are applied in important societal contexts, especially in the domain of law, human behavior, and society. Topics that he studies include the issue of fair processes in government-citizen interactions, the role of group threat and deprivation in terrorism and radical behavior, and the psychological processes that lead people to trust government and important societal institutions.

The Two-Way Street Between Law and Social Psychology

                                                                                         Kees van den Bos

Blog KeesInsight into social psychology is relevant for the understanding of how the law works in courtrooms, how people perceive the law as a legal system, and how officials function in several legal contexts, such as in the areas of legal decision making, law making, and law enforcement. In other words, social psychology is needed to understand how the law works (or law in action). Furthermore, in part because both social psychology and law share an emphasis on behavioural regulation, notions about how the law should work (or law in the books) can also profit from an understanding of basic principles of social psychology. Importantly, insights into the social psychology of law are not merely an application of basic social psychological principles in legal contexts. Rather, studying social psychology and the law often provides insights that may well feed into basic social psychological research. Thus, both law and social psychology can learn from each other. In this blog I reflect on the two-way street between law and social psychology.

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Disdain for Law and Democracy: A Red Flag in Radicalization Processes

psychologyKees van den Bos

Radicalization and associated issues such as extremism and terrorism are important problems in our world. Various radical belief systems are associated with the problems of radicalization, extremism, and terrorism. These belief systems include extreme Muslim beliefs as well as radical right-wing and left-wing beliefs. Due to its importance and complexity, I am currently writing a book on why people radicalize. The book, to be published in 2018 by Oxford University Press, aims to provide an accessible, advanced, and up-to-date assessment of what is going on inside people’s heads with respect to fairness issues and radicalization. The book reviews several instances of radicalization and theories of radicalization. The book also introduces a framework to understand radicalization. In developing this framework I propose that perceived unfairness is a key antecedent of various radicalization processes, especially when these perceptions are combined with uncertainty or other threats and with insufficient correction of self-centered impulses. Continue reading