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I am a social and organisational psychologist (PhD, University of Groningen 1999) interested in human reactions and social interactions in high-risk, high-stakes situations. Key topics are:

  • Conflict and negotiation
  • Social influence and change interventions
  • Crime, coping and resilience
  • Social context of risks/crises


About two decades ago, I became passionate about the field of hostage negotiations leading to collaboration with hostage negotiation teams from all over the world. I worked for a year within the Belgian Federal Police (Behavioural Science Unit) and still teach in the national Dutch hostage negotiation course. In 2015, I was part of the research team that officially evaluated the Dutch governmental functioning following the MH17 disaster. In 2017-2018, I chaired an independent committee commissioned by the State Secretary (Ministry of Defence) investigating the social safety climate within the Military (Committee Giebels).


In 2012, I received the RUBIN theory-to-practice award, co-sponsored by the International Association for Conflict Management (IACM) and the Harvard University Program on Negotiation. In 2017, I was elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. In 2019, I initiated the development of an innovative theatre program about academic integrity and ‚Äúworking life‚ÄĚ in academia named Mindlab.


As a vice-dean of research at the Faculty of Behavioural, Management, and Social Sciences (2014-2022), I co-initiated a program on more cross-disciplinary research cooperation including a strong connection with technology (Tech4People program), and founded the BMSlab.


Additional roles/appointment

2022-            Member/chair of several evaluation panels (ITK-midterm/NVAO)                         (Leiden University, VU University Amsterdam, University of Twente, Radboud University)

2021-           Chair VU-UT Impact Coalition Creating Secure Societies                           (together with Jacquelien van Stekelenburg-VU)

2019-            Member task force NWA route NeurolabNL-theme safety and security

2017- 2022    Board member Kurt Lewin Institute (KLI)

2011-2020     Head of Department Psychology of Conflict, Risk & Safety


Ancillary activities

  • Erasmus Universiteit RotterdamRaad van Toezicht
  • TNO Defensie & VeiligheidLid Strategische Adviesraad
  • Dutch PoliceWetenschappelijke Adviesraad Politie
  • LOWIRaad van Advies LOWI (namens NWO)


Eye spy a lie: An eye-tracking study into gaze behaviour and receiving lies. Slijkhuis, P. J. H., Watson, S. J., Stel, M. & Giebels, E.The Impact of COVID-19 on Crime: a Systematic ReviewAmerican Journal of Criminal Justice (E-pub ahead of print/First online). Hoeboer, C. M., Kitselaar, W. M., Henrich, J. F., Miedzobrodzka, E. J., Wohlstetter, B., Giebels, E., Meynen, G., Kruisbergen, E. W., Kempes, M., Olff, M. & de Kogel, C. H.https://doi.org/10.1007/s12103-023-09746-4Power Asymmetry and Early Intervention in DivorcePsychology, Public Policy, and Law, 29(3), 383-401. van Dijk, M. A. J., Zebel, S. & Giebels, E.https://doi.org/10.1037/law0000376Strategic adaptability in negotiation: a framework to distinguish strategic adaptable behaviorsInternational journal of conflict management (E-pub ahead of print/First online). Heunis, H., Pulles, N. J., Giebels, E., Kollöffel, B. & Sigurdardottir, A. G.https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCMA-02-2023-0028
Is Computer-based Communication A Valuable Addition to Victim-offender Mediation? A Qualitative Exploration among Victims, Offenders and MediatorsVictims and Offenders, 17(8), 1173-1195. Bonensteffen, F., Zebel, S. & Giebels, E.https://doi.org/10.1080/15564886.2021.2020946Urgent issues and prospects at the intersection of culture, memory, and witness interviews: Exploring the challenges for research and practiceLegal and criminological psychology, 27(1), 1-31. Hope, L., Anakwah, N., Antfolk, J., Brubacher, S. P., Flowe, H., Gabbert, F., Giebels, E., Kanja, W., Korkman, J., Kyo, A., Naka, M., Otgaar, H., Powell, M. B., Selim, H., Skrifvars, J., Sorkpah, I. K., Sowatey, E. A., Steele, L. C., Stevens, L., ‚Ķ Wells, S.https://doi.org/10.1111/lcrp.12202
The key to risk communication success: The longitudinal effect of risk message repetition on actual self-protective behavior of primary school childrenJournal of risk research, 23(12), 1525-1540. Kievik, M., Giebels, E. & Gutteling, J. M.https://doi.org/10.1080/13669877.2020.1738527Corrigendum: Sincerity Is in the Eye of the Beholder: Using Eye Tracking to Understand How Victims Interpret an Offender‚Äôs Apology in a Simulation of Victim‚ÄďOffender Mediation (Frontiers in Psychology, (2020), 11, (835), 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00835)Frontiers in psychology, 11, Article 1943. Bonensteffen, F., Zebel, S. & Giebels, E.https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01943Sincerity Is in the Eye of the Beholder: Using Eye Tracking to Understand How Victims Interpret an Offender‚Äôs Apology in a Simulation of Victim‚ÄďOffender MediationFrontiers in psychology, 11, Article 835. Bonensteffen, F., Zebel, S. & Giebels, E.https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00835Communication Error Management in Law Enforcement Interactions: A Sender‚Äôs PerspectiveCriminal justice and behavior, 47(1), 39-60. Oostinga, M. S. D., Giebels, E. & Taylor, P. J.https://doi.org/10.1177/0093854819870856Why do citizens become a member of an online neighbourhood watch?: A case study in The NetherlandsPolice Practice and Research, 21(6), 687-701. Schreurs, W., Franjkic, N., Kerstholt, J. H., de Vries, P. W. & Giebels, E.https://doi.org/10.1080/15614263.2020.1712202On moral grounds: Moral identity and moral disengagement in relation to military deploymentMilitary Psychology, 32(4), 363-375. de Graaff, M. C., Giebels, E. & Verweij, D. E. M.https://doi.org/10.1080/08995605.2020.1774321Research on the road using the ExperiVanIn Supporting Health by Technology: Supporting Health by Technology International Conference 11-6-2020: Abstract book (pp. 44-44). University of Twente. van 't Klooster, J.-W., Giebels, E., Slijkhuis, P. J. H., Langener, S., Nijen Es, L., Beerlage-de Jong, N. & van Gemert-Pijnen, L.

Other contributions

Other publications (selection)

Research profiles

Projects (PhD)

  • Jedidjah Schaaij - Intelligence led policing with a database of crisis negotiation incidents. Co-supervisor: dr. Miriam¬†Oostinga (UT). Project in cooperation with police¬†negotiation practitioners, the Police Academy and the UK police (Lou Provart Msc). Defense expected in 2026/2027.
  • Michalis Georgiou- TORN- Towards resilient negotiating with ransomware¬†criminals.¬†Co-supervisors: dr. Miriam¬†Oostinga (UT) & dr. Remco Spithoven (Saxion University of applied sciences). This project is part of the research program of the Centre for Security and Digitization.https://www.cvdnederland.nl/.¬†Defense expected in 2026/2027.
  • Henrike¬†Fitchen -Enabling strategic adaptability in negotiation¬† - A reflective method to improve skill-based learning. Co-supervisors: dr. Niels Pulles, dr. Bas Kollofel (both UT) and dr. Aldis Sigurdardottir (University of Reykjavik). Defense expected in 2025/2026.
  • Peter Slijkhuis¬†-¬†discrepancies between subjective and objective methods in deception research.¬†Co-supervisor: dr. Marielle Stel and dr. Steven Watson (both UT). Defense expected in 2025.
  • Bas Boing -¬†Discussing the elephant in the room: police officers and ethnic profiling debate. Co-supervisor: dr. Peter de Vries (UT). Defense expected 2025.
  • Florian Bonensteffen - Developing a tool for online victim-offender mediation. Co-supervisors: ¬†prof.dr.¬†Sven Zebel (UT/VU). Defense expected in 2025.
  • Marian van Dijk - Early triage by Internet in societal conflicts.¬†Successfully defended on March 8 2024. Co-supervisor: prof.dr. Sven Zebel (UT/VU).
  • Anja Jansen - Eyes in the skies: exploring the effects of social presence cues on undesired and prosocial¬†behavior.¬†Successfully defended on 29 January 2021. Co-supervisor: dr. Thomas van Rompay (UT) and prof.dr. Marianne Junger (UT).
  • Wendy Scheurs ‚Äď Crossing lines together- how and why citizens participate in the police domain. Co-supervisor: prof. dr. Jose Kerstholt (UT/TNO) and dr. Peter de Vries (UT). Successfully defended on 1 November 2019.
  • Marije Bakker ‚Äď Turning crisis into opportunity. Co-supervisors:¬† dr. Marco van Bommel (UT) and prof. dr. Jose Kerstholt (UT/TNO). Successfully defended on 5 April 2018.
  • Miriam Oostinga - Breaking the ice. Error management in law enforcement interactions. Co-supervisor: prof.dr. Paul J. Taylor (University of Lancaster and UT). Successfully defended on 29 March 2018.
  • Milou Kievik - The time of telling tales. The determinants of effective risk communication. Successfully defended on 16 November 2017. Co-supervisor: dr. Jan Gutteling (UT).
  • Moritz Romer - None of my business? Leaders as third parties in employee' conflict. Succesfully defended on 5 July 2017 (KU Leuven). Co-supervisors: dr. Sonja Rispens (Eindhoven University of Technology) and prof. dr. Martin Euwema (KULeuven).
  • Femke Hilverda - Making sense of food risk information: The case of organic food.Succesfully defended on 28 February 2017. Co-supervisor: dr. Margot Kuttschreuter (UT).
  • Miriam de Graaff - Moral Forces: interpreting ethical challenges in military operations.¬†Succesfully defended on 12 January 2017. Co-supervisor: prof.dr. Desiree Verweij (Netherlands Defense Academy).
  • Sabine Str√∂fer - Deceptive intent: Physiological reactions in different interpersonal contexts. Successfully defended on 18 February 2016. Co-supervisors: dr. Elze Ufkes and dr. Matthijs Noordzij (both UT).
  • Kim van Erp- When Worlds Collide: The Role of Justice, Conflict and Personality for Expatriate Couples‚Äô Adjustment. Successfully defended on 20 January 2011. Co-supervisors: prof.dr. Karen van Oudenhoven-van der Zee and dr. Marijtje van Duijn (both University of Groningen).
  • Elze Ufkes - Neighbor-to-neighbor conflicts in multicultural neighborhoods.Successfully defended on 6 January 2011. Co-supervisors: prof.dr. Sabine Otten and prof.dr. Karen van Oudenhoven-van der Zee (both University of Groningen).
  • Karlijn Beune - Talking heads. Interviewing suspects from a cultural perspective. Successfully defended on 1 October 2009 (distinction: cum laude).

The media has paid attention to my scientific work, which appeared in e.g.: Research Digest, New Scientist, NRC Handelsblad, Volkskrant, Trouw, Nederlands Dagblad, Dagblad van het Noorden, Gelderse Courant, Algemeen Dagblad, ADR magazine, Recherchemagazine, Intermediair, 7Days, Kuwait Times, Le Devoir, penoactueel, Forum voor conflictmanagement, Nationale zorggids, MT management team, Tijdschrift conflicthantering, Tubantia, Libelle, BN De Stem, De Stentor, Dagblad van het Noorden.

Following the publication of our report on the social safety climate in the Military, I was interviewed by the NOS NEWS, RTLNews, Hart van Nederland (TV) and NPO and BNR (Radio).

In February 2023, our NWO project on COVID-19 pandemic affecting societal safety in terms of crime figures featured in the Volkskrant.

In the press

Interviews & podcasts (recent/Dutch)

Interview over de psychologische effecten van een ontvoering voor Sprekend RD. 

Volkskrant interview over het verkeerde gebruik van de term Stockholmsyndroom.

Podcast interview kun je bevriend raken met je ontvoerder voor Universiteit van Nederland.

Radio interview voor 'met het oog op morgen' over de oorsprong van het Stockholmsyndroom.

Video podcast voor Universiteit van Nederland over onderhandelstrategie√ęn bij gijzelingen en ontvoeringen: de¬†Tafel van Tien.¬†¬†

NRC artikel over wetenschappelijke lessen voor oorlogsonderhandelaars (met Beatrice de Graaf, Kees van den Bos en Paul van Lange).

Radio interview De Wereld van Sofie over het Stockholmsyndroom.

Interview met rector Thom Palstra over wetenschappelijke integriteit en sociale veiligheid

Interview met Jacquelien van Stekelenburg (VU) over de VU-UT Impactcoalitie Creating Secure Societies

News on utwente.nl





University of Twente

Cubicus (building no. 41), room C243B
De Zul 10
7522 NJ Enschede

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Additional contact information

<p><a href="https://people.utwente.nl/m.f.clifford">Management assistant: Lorette Bosch-Padberg</a></p>
<p>+31 53 489 3616</p>

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