dr. S. Zebel (Sven)

Associate Professor

About Me

I am interested in the psychological reactions to crime and conflicts, as well as in the application and impact of mediation and other interventions aimed at restoration and reducing the risk of re-offending. In investigating these reactions, I focus on different parties (victims, offenders, third parties) and on the use of technology to study as well as reinforce such interventions. My research subdivides into three areas of interest:

Restorative justice and technology
An important form of restorative justice is victim-offender mediation (VOM), in which victims and offenders can meet voluntarily after crime under the supervision of mediators. In collaboration with different partners from practice, we examine the needs and willingness of victims and offenders to participate in VOM, the interaction process between parties during VOM as well as the psychological effects after mediation (see PhD project of Jiska Jonas - van Dijk). In so doing, we focus on innovative methods to study the complex, interactional process of mediation, for example through eye tracking technology. In addition, we attempt to augment the positive potential of VOM by developing, testing and implementing new (training) forms of digital communication between victims and offenders (e.g. video messages, video conferencing; see PhD project of Florian Bonensteffen). 

Perspective-taking, conflict, and identity
One line of research in this domain concerns the Ph.D. project of Marian van Dijk that i co-supervise (promotor Ellen Giebels; see below). The project aims to unravel the effects that online legal help has on civilians in conflict. The second line of research focuses on civilians’ willingness to take the perspective of convicted offenders who return to society, and which consequences perspective-taking can have for the labeling of and desired social distance to such ex-offenders.

Crime and recidivism
Research interests in this domain focus on (a) the effects of direct and indirect questioning on admitting acts of cybercrime, and (b) the relationship between the experience of and interaction with a future version of ourselves in virtual reality and individuals' propensity to commit crime (see PhD project of Ben Ganschow). 


Medicine & Life Sciences
Social Identification
Social Sciences
Offender-Victim Mediation


Andringa, W., Bruijn, S., ten Doeschot, F., Klein Kranenburg, L. , & Zebel, S. (2023). Slachtoffermonitor 2022 (3e meting). (WODC Rapport; No. 2023/079). I&O Research. https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12832/3269
van Dijk, M. A. J. , Zebel, S. , & Giebels, E. (2023). Power Asymmetry and Early Intervention in Divorce. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 29(3), 383-401. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/law0000376
Other Contributions

Peer-reviewed articles

  • Zebel, S., Schreurs, W., & Ufkes, E. G. (2017).  Crime seriousness and participation in restorative justice: The role of time elapsed since the offense. Law and Human Behavior, 41, 385-397DOI: 10.1037/lhb0000242
  • Dijk, M. van, Giebels, E., & Zebel, S. (2016). Building strength or lending an ear in legal conflicts: Dependence and conflict asymmetry as distinct predictors of needs for support. Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, 9, 3-21DOI: 10.1111/ncmr.12066
  • Magendans, J., Gutteling, J., & Zebel, S. (2016). Psychological determinants of financial buffer saving: The influence of financial risk tolerance and regulatory focus. Journal of Risk Research, DOI: 10.1080/13669877.2016.1147491
  • Claessen, J.A.A.C., Zeles, G., Zebel, S. & Nelen, H. (2015). Bemiddeling in strafzaken in Maastricht III. Onderzoek naar recidive bij jeugdigen en volwassenen.[Mediation in criminal cases in Maastricht III: An examination of the recidivism rates of juveniles and adults]. Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, 15 (4), 9-24.
  • Claessen, J.A.A.C., Zeles, G., Zebel, S. & Nelen, H. (2015). Bemiddeling in strafzaken in Maastricht II. Onderzoek naar de samenhang tussen bemiddeling en recidive. [Mediation in criminal cases in Maastricht II: An examination of the association between mediation and recidivism rates]. Nederlands Juristenblad29, 2015-2025.
  • Schreurs, W., Zebel, S., & Ufkes, E. (2014). Slachtoffer-daderbemiddeling bij ernstige misdrijven. [Victim-offender mediation after serious offenses]. Tijdschrift voor Herstelrecht, 14 (4), 10-22.
  • Zebel, S., Vries, P. de, Karemaker, M., & Ufkes, E. (2014). Monitoren moet zicht geven op groep jeugdige cyberdaders [Monitoring as a way to gain insight into group of youthful offenders of cybercrime]. Secondant, 6 oktober 2014, link
  • Kamau, C., Giner-Sorolla, R., & Zebel, S. (2013). Reconciliation responses, blame and expressions of guilt or shame. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 43, E287–E292DOI: 10.1111/jasp.12048
  • Figueiredo, A. M., Doosje, B., Valentim, J. P., & Zebel, S. (2010). Dealing with past colonial conflicts: How perceived characteristics of the victimized outgroup can influence the experience of group-based guilt. International Journal of Conflict and Violence, 4, 89-105.
  • Zebel, S., Doosje, B., & Spears, R. (2009). How perspective-taking helps and hinders group-based guilt as a function of group identification. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 12, 61-78.
  • Zebel, S., Doosje, B., & Spears, R. (2009). The threat of those who “understand”: Ways in which out-groups induce guilt. European Journal of Social Psychology39, 154-162.
  • Pennekamp, S. F., Doosje, B., Zebel, S., & Henriquez, A. A. (2009). In matters of opinion, what matters is the group: Minority group members’ emotional reactions to messages about identity expression. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology¸ 45, 778-787.
  • Leach, C. W., Van Zomeren, M., Zebel, S., Vliek, M. L. W., Pennekamp, S. F., Doosje, B., Ouwerkerk, J. W., & Spears, R. (2008). Group-level self-definition and self-investment: A hierarchical (multi-component) model of in-group identification. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 144-165. 
  • Zebel, S., Zimmermann, A., Viki, G. T., & Doosje, B. (2008). Dehumanization and guilt as related but distinct predictors of support for reparation policies. Political Psychology, 29, 193-219.
  • Doosje, B., Zebel, S., Scheermeier, M., & Mathyi, P. (2007). Attributions of responsibility for terrorist attacks: The role of group membership and identification. International Journal of Conflict and Violence, 1, 127-141  
  • Zebel, S., Pennekamp, S. F., Van Zomeren, M., Doosje, B., Van Kleef, G. A., Vliek, M. L. W., & Van der Schalk, J. (2007). Vessels with gold or guilt: Emotional reactions to family involvement associated with glorious or gloomy aspects of the colonial past. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 10, 71-86.
  • Pennekamp, S. F., Doosje, B., Zebel, S., & Fischer, A. H. (2007). The past and the pending: The antecedents and consequences of group-based anger in historically and currently disadvantaged groups. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 10, 41-56.

Research reports (externally funded)

  • Zebel, S., Vroom, M. & Ufkes, E. (2016). Herstelgerichte cursussen in detentie: Evaluatie van Puinruimen, SOS en DAPPER. [Victim impact courses among prisoners: An evaluation of Puinruimen, SOS en DAPPER]. Research commissioned by the WODC. Enschede: Universiteit Twente. link
  • Zebel, S., Vries, P. de, Giebels, E., Kuttschreuter, M. & Stol, W. (2014). Jeugdige daders van cybercrime in Nederland: Een empirische verkenning [Youthful offenders of cybercrime in the Netherland: An empirical exploration.] Research commissioned by the WODC. Enschede: Universiteit Twente. link
  • Zebel, S., Alberda, D. & Wartna, B. (2014). Recidive na een reclasseringscontact: Overzicht en analyse van de terugval van personen met een werkstraf of toezicht in de periode 2002-2009 [Recidivism after probation contact: Overview and analyses of the relapse into crime of individuals with a community service sanction or probation supervision during 2002-2009.] Research commissioned by the three probation organisations in the Netherlands. Den Haag: WODC / Universiteit Twente. link

Book chapters:

  • Top, E., Zebel, S., & Van der Berg, M. (2015). Slachtoffer-dadercontact: een stap verder in de verwerking. [Victim-offender contact: a step further in the recovery of crime.]. In J. van Vliet (Ed.), De recidivist als medeburger. [The recidivist as fellow civilian] (121-134). Amsterdam: SWP.
  • Zebel, S., Vries, P. de, Giebels, E., Kuttschreuter, M., Stol, W., Karemaker, M., & Ufkes, E. (2015). Een screenshot van jeugdige daders van cybercrime in Nederland [A screenshot of youthful offenders of cybercrime in the Netherlands]. In I. Weijers en Eliaerts, C. (Eds.), Jeugdcriminologie: Achtergronden van jeugdcriminaliteit [Youth criminology: Background factors of juvenile delinquency] (pp. 355-372). Den Haag: Boom Lemma.
  • Van der Berg, M. & Zebel, S. (2013). Onderbouwing van een structurele voorziening voor slachtoffers: Effecten van de Nederlandse slachtoffer-dadergesprekken. [Substantiation of a structural service for victims: Effects of the Dutch victim-offender meetings]. In J. Ouwerkerk, T. de Wit, J. Claessen, P. Jacobs, & S. Meijer (Eds.), Hoe te reageren op misdaad? Op zoek naar de hedendaagse betekenis van preventie, vergelding en herstel. [How to respond to crime? In search of the contemporary meaning of prevention, retribution and restoration.] Den Haag: SDU Uitgevers.
  • Zebel, S. (2012). Een quasi-experimentele studie naar de effecten van de Nederlandse slachtoffer-dadergesprekken [A quasi-experimental study into the effects of the Dutch victim-offender meetings]. In I. Weijers (Ed.), Bemiddeling na strafbare feiten: De Nederlandse slachtoffer-dadergesprekken [Mediation after punishable offences: The Dutch victim-offender meetings] (pp. 21-44). Den Haag: Boom Juridische uitgevers.
  • Zebel, S., Lelivelt, M., & Duinstra, U. (2009). Slachtoffers en daders over en met elkaar: Slachtoffer in Beeld [Victims and offenders about and with each other: Victim in Focus]. In S. Leferink (Ed.), Goed recht: 25 jaar Slachtofferhulp Nederland [Proper Justice: 25 years Victim Support The Netherlands] (pp.228-237). Utrecht: Slachtofferhulp Nederland.
  • Zebel, S., Doosje, B., & Spears, R. (2004). It depends on your point of view: Implications of perspective-taking and national identification for Dutch collective guilt. In N.R. Branscombe & B. Doosje (Eds.), Collective guilt: International perspectives (pp.148-168). New York: Cambridge University Press.

UT Research Information System

Google Scholar Link


Sven Zebel is involved in teaching for the courses and programmes listed below and is also supervision of Bachelor and Master Theses for these programmes. He is also involved in the coordination of internships, Bachelor- and Master theses PCRS.

Affiliated Study Programmes



Courses Academic Year  2023/2024

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  2022/2023


Current PhD projects supervision

  • Jiska Jonas - van Dijk: Opening the 'black box' of victim-offender mediation (VOM): Revealing how participation in VOM reduces the risk of reoffering.
    Supervision together with prof. dr. Hans Nelen (Maastricht University) and dr. Jacques Claessen (Maastricht University).Funded by Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), Research Talent programme.
  • Marian van Dijk: Early triage in conflict.
    Supervision in collaboration with prof. dr. Ellen Giebels (UT).
    Funded by the Council for Legal Aid, Ministry of Justice.

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Cubicus (building no. 41), room C233
De Zul 10
7522NJ  Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Cubicus  C233
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands