dr. P. Gül (Pelin)

About Me

I received my MA in Social and Organizational Psychology from Leiden University (Netherlands), PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Kent (England) in 2017, and worked in the Social Self and Culture Lab at Iowa State University (USA) as a post-doctoral researcher in 2017-2019. I am currently a Lecturer at the University of Twente.



Social Sciences
Medicine & Life Sciences
Arts & Humanities


My research interests broadly converge around the relationship between culture, motivation and sex differences, leading me to examine diverse topics such as how culture of honor norms and reputation concerns manifest into goal conflicts at work, cultural differences in moral judgments and political decision-making, and motives underlying gender-related biases, sexism and conflict between the sexes. I approach these topics with a combination of ideas from social, cultural, and  evolutionary psychology, using quantitative and qualitative research methods (e.g. lab experiments, vignette studies, surveys, observations, interviews).


BA/MA students interested in conducting research on these topics, and those seeking international research experience are welcome to contact me.


Gul, P. , Keesmekers, N., Elmas, P., Köse, F. E., Koskun, T., Wisman, A., & Kupfer, T. R. (2021). Disease Avoidance Motives Trade-Off Against Social Motives, Especially Mate-Seeking, to Predict Social Distancing: Evidence From the COVID-19 Pandemic. Social Psychological and Personality Science. https://doi.org/10.1177/19485506211046462
Schuster, I. , Gul, P., Eisner, M., & Ghuneim, L. (2021). Attitudes Toward Wife Beating Among Female and Male Adolescents in Jordan. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. https://doi.org/10.1177/0886260520903131
Smith, P. B., Easterbrook, M. J., Koc, Y., Lun, V. M-C., Papastylianou, D., Grigoryan, L., Torres, C., Efremova, M., Hassan, B., Abbas, A., Ahmad, A. H., al-Bayati, A., Selim, H. A., Anderson, J., Cross, S. E., Delfino, G. I., Gamsakhurdia, V., Gavreliuc, A., Gavreliuc, D., ... Chobthamkit, P. (2020). Is an Emphasis on Dignity, Honor and Face more an Attribute of Individuals or of Cultural Groups? Cross-cultural research, 1-32. https://doi.org/10.1177/1069397120979571
Bakker, K. , Wrede, C. , & Gül, P. (2020). Perceived acceptability of persuasive features in mHealth interventions: Does stage of change matter?. Abstract from Supporting Health by Technology 2020, Enschede, Netherlands.
Smith, P. B., Easterbrook, M. J., al-Selim, H., Miu Chi Lun, V., Koc, Y. , Gül, P., Papastylianou, D., Grigoryan, L., Torres, C., Efremova, M., Hassan, B., Ahmad, A. H., al-Bayati, A., Anderson, J., & Cross, S. E. (2020). Sex Differences in Self-Construal and in Depressive Symptoms: Predictors of Cross-National Variation. Journal of cross-cultural psychology, 51(7-8), 616-635. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022120939655
Ko, A., Pick, C. M., Kwon, J. Y., Barlev, M., Krems, J. A., Varnum, M. E. W., Neel, R., Peysha, M., Boonyasiriwat, W., Brandstätter, E., Crispim, A. C., Cruz, J. E., David, D., David, O. A., De Felipe, R. P., Fetvadjiev, V. H., Fischer, R., Galdi, S., Galindo, O., ... Kenrick, D. T. (2020). Family Matters: Rethinking the Psychology of Human Social Motivation. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 15(1), 173-201. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691619872986
Hässler, T., Ullrich, J., Bernardino, M., Shnabel, N., Laar, C. V., Valdenegro, D., Sebben, S., Tropp, L. R., Visintin, E. P., González, R., Ditlmann, R. K., Abrams, D., Selvanathan, H. P., Branković, M., Wright, S., Von Zimmermann, J., Pasek, M., Aydin, A. L., Žeželj, I., ... Ugarte, L. M. (2020). A large-scale test of the link between intergroup contact and support for social change. Nature Human Behaviour, 4(4), 380-386. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-019-0815-z
Günsoy, C., Joo, M., Cross, S. E., Uskul, A. K. , Gul, P., Wasti, S. A., Salter, P., Haugen, A., Erdaş, K. D., & Yegin, A. (2020). The influence of honor threats on goal delay and goal derailment: A comparison of Turkey, Southern US, and Northern US. Journal of experimental social psychology, 88, [103974]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2020.103974
Uskul, A. K., Cross, S. E., Günsoy, C. , & Gül, P. (2019). Cultures of honor. In Handbook of cultural psychology (2nd ed., pp. 793-821). Guilford Press.
Thomson, R., Yuki, M., Talhelm, T., Schug, J., Kito, M., Ayanian, A. H., Becker, J. C., Becker, M., Chiu, C., Choi, H., Ferreira, C. M., Fülöp, M. , Gul, P., Houghton-illera, A. M., Joasoo, M., Jong, J., Kavanagh, C. M., Khutkyy, D., Manzi, C., ... Visserman, M. L. (2018). Relational mobility predicts social behaviors in 39 countries and is tied to historical farming and threat. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(29), 7521-7526. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1713191115
Other Contributions

Lamers, S., M. A., Gul, P., Kovács, B., E.., Kroeze, R., Müller, A.,M.K.., Stojadinović, I., Stuker, D., L., … &  Vigani, A. (2014). Conceptualizations of mental health across Europe: Comparing Psychology with Science and Engineering students. Journal of European Psychology Students. https://doi.org/10.5334/jeps.bt

Gul, P., Korosteliov, A., Caplan, L., Ball, L. C., Bazar, J. L., Rodkey, E. N., … Rutherford, A. (2013). Reconstructing the experiences of first generation women in Canadian Psychology. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, https://doi.org/10.1037/a0032669

Google Scholar Link

Affiliated Study Programmes



Courses Academic Year  2021/2022

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Courses Academic Year  2020/2021


The role of intent versus outcomes in judgments of sexism. In 2017 July, James Damore, a former engineer at Google, has written an internal memo which criticized Google’s diversity efforts and suggested ways to adapt the tech workplace to increase women's representation and comfort, without resorting to discrimination. He argued that women’s underrepresentation in tech is not only due to workplace biases and discrimination, but partly due to biological differences between men and women, including women generally having a stronger interest in people rather than things, and tending to be more social, artistic, and prone to neuroticism. After the memo went viral in social media, many accused Damore of sexism, perpetuating false assumptions about gender, and creating a hostile environment for women in tech. Three days later, he was fired by Google. Damore’s case and similar others suggest that many people think that an act/expression is sexist based on the consequences, even if the actor does not intent to do harm. However, much research on moral judgments have shown that intent is an important factor in attribution of (im)morality. Therefore, this project aims to investigate how people (laypeople vs. academics) define sexism, whether the role of intent is relevant to judgments of sexism, and the individual differences in these judgments.


The puzzle of benevolent sexism: Why do women like it? Why do men display it? Benevolent sexism (BS) is defined as “subjectively positive” attitudes towards women such as “women should be cherished and protected by men”, chivalrous behaviors, and attempts to achieve intimacy with women. Research has documented various detrimental effects of men's BS on women, yet paradoxically studies also show that women prefer men with BS attitudes over those without. The aim of this research is to examine the motivational origins of women's preference for BS and men's tendency to display BS, as well as the harmful versus beneficial forms of BS based on the context. Understanding these nuances may allow us to reduce the negative effects of BS without requiring women and men to reject the actual good things that can arise from this behavior.

What can Incels tell us about the factors that may shape misogynistic views in society? 
Incels, or involuntary celibates, refers to an online community of men who believe that they are inherently unable to engage in sexual relationships with women, despite wanting to do so. Incels blame women for their celibacy, stemming from their belief that they are denied the right to have sex by women who choose alpha males over them. The movement came to wider public notice after a series of mass murders that targeted women (e.g., 2014 Isla Vista killings and Toronto van attack) were tied to the Incel community. The Incel movement with its misogynistic extremism and rising violence is now considered a serious threat to public security. Due to the novelty of the Incel movement, there is very little empirical research on them. Existing research on evolutionary psychology hints at the idea that the Incel movement may be one extreme manifestation of a much wider phenomenon: sexually dissatisfied men exist and have always existed. As shown by research on sociosexuality, male sexual desire tends to greatly exceed actual sexual behaviour, and this may be especially the case for some men (e.g. low mate value). The difference between sexual desire and behaviour may be greater for men than for women, and combined with men’s greater intrasexual competitiveness, this may explain why the Incels is almost entirely a male phenomenon. Informed by the unique case of Incels and existing theory, this research project will outline and examine a novel explanation of what shapes misogynistic views in society. Findings can be used for interventions that aim to increase sexual satisfaction and reduce misogynistic beliefs and expressions in society.

Why do men and women support female honor norms? In cultures with “female honor” norms, women are expected to cultivate a reputation for pure and chaste behaviour, such as wearing modest clothes and maintaining virginity before marriage. The dominant explanation fo support for female honor norms is that female infidelity causes men to lose honor and that the existence of female honor norms help protect men's masculine honor. Beyond this, the literature affords little understanding of the psychological mechanisms that shape men's (and women's) attitudes towards female honor norms. We propose that men (and women) are motivated by sexual jealousy to support female honor norms as an indirect mate guarding tactic. Thus, the primary goal of this research is to test the prediction that situations that elicit sexual jealousy increase men’s (and women's) support for female honor norms. Existing literature suggests that individuals who pursue monogamous (vs. promiscuous) mating goals have greater concerns about mate guarding. Therefore, we will also test the prediction that male (and female) reproductive strategy predicts support for female honor norms beyond concerns about masculine honor. These findings can enhance understanding of the evolution and maintenance of ideologies that enable the control of women’s reproductive behaviour. Findings will be particularly important for those who seek to understand and tackle female oppression and associated phenomena such as honor killings.


Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Drienerlolaan 5
7522 NB Enschede
The Netherlands

Navigate to location

Mailing Address

University of Twente
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

Social Media