Christin Scholz, PhD (PI)

Christin Scholz is an Assistant Professor at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) at the University of Amsterdam. She is interested in the social life of persuasive media messages and its effects on health and societally beneficial behaviors in individuals and large populations. Her work relies on multi-methodological approaches including neuroscientific methods like fMRI and social science techniques such as observational geolocation tracking, field experimentation, and survey methods to capture both detailed decision-making processes and real-world behavior.

Dr. Scholz’ work has been funded by a Marie Curie Fellowship from the European Commission, a Veni grant from NWO, the Amsterdam School of Communication Research, DARPA, and the Templeton World Foundation.

Xinyao Zhang

Xinyao Zhang has graduated from the Research Master’s Brain and Cognitive Sciences of the University of Amsterdam. She is interested in a wide range of topics in the field of social and affective neuroscience, especially attitude polarization on social media and the role of emotion in this process. She is now working as a research internship student at the lab, focusing on how people perceive counterattitudinal messages when consuming online media content.

Spela Dolinsek

Spela Dolinsek is a PhD candidate at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR). Her research interests lie in the fields of persuasive and health communication. She is also interested in interpersonal communication, especially on social media.

Her PhD project focuses on characteristics of persuasive messages and their potential impact on mental well-being of the recipients. Additionally, she is researching whether mental well-being as a trait plays a role in how persuasive messages are processed, both of which are especially relevant in times of crises, such as a pandemic. Through use of innovative methods such as interviews enhanced with digital trace data, she aims to highlight the role of social media interactions in coping with threatening health messages.

Xiaxiao Wang

Xiaoxiao Wang is a Research Master’s student in Communication Science at University of Amsterdam. Her research interests lie in the fields of health and persuasive communication. She is currently working as a research intern in the lab, focusing on how people make decisions when faced with complex information environments. 

Jorge Ratia

Jorge Ratia is a journalist with a BSc in Psychology, currently pursuing a Research Master’s in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Amsterdam. His primary focus lies in the neurobiology of human reasoning, encompassing cognitive domains such as extreme beliefs, moral thinking, and metacognitive skills. Additionally, he aspires to become an excellent science communicator, which is why he enjoys public speaking and media collaborations. As a research intern student at the lab, Jorge will contribute to research the neuropsychological mechanisms underlying political polarization through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Nikoleta Papathanasiou

Nikoleta Papathanasiou has graduated from the Psychology department of the University of Athens and currently follows the Research Master’s Brain and Cognitive Sciences of the University of Amsterdam. She is interested on neural correlates of social behaviors, such as social media sharing and public hate speech, as well as on promoting online discourse about mental health. Driven by her passion on social sciences and her studies on neuroscience, she is currently working as an intern student at the lab, focusing on Talking Drinks and Polarization projects. 

Alumni

 

Dr. Hang-Yee Chan (former post-doc) is a Lecturer in Marketing at King’s College Business School.

Judit Campdepadrós Barrios (former research assistant) is a full-time research scientist at the Social Brain Lab, Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience (NiN).

Carolin Streitberger (former research assistant) is a PhD student in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Mannheim.