Available research internships

There are usually plenty of opportunities at the HabitLab for students who are looking to gain experience in conducting research! We supervise Bachelor and Master theses of psychology and psychobiology students, as well as the ResearchMaster internship and thesis. During their projects, Master students are encouraged to actively take part in our weekly journal clubs. Of course it is also possible to gain research experience as a volunteer, or in the role of research assistant (for a modest financial recompensation). Below we have posted some advertisements for specific ongoing projects. However, there may be other opportunities as well, and you can always email Sanne de Wit s.dewit@uva.nl – for more information, or otherwise the researcher on one of the specific projects posted below. We ask that you include your CV.


The promises and perils of a ‘digital detox’: An integrated investigation of the role of craving, habits and corticostriatal pathways.

Many young adults spend 3-5 hours daily on social media and some indicate that they feel ‘addicted’. “Digital detox” interventions have become an increasingly popular means to regain control over smartphone- and social media use. However, the effectiveness of detox-interventions remains controversial. A digital detox promises to help break your smartphone habit, but may ultimately lead to intensified use as a consequence of “incubation of craving”. In this project, we aim to elucidate the effects of a digital detox on social media use and underlying mechanisms of habit and craving. During and following a detox intervention, we will apply Ecological Momentary Assessment of self-reported craving and automaticity and relate this to duration and frequency of social media use. Additionally, we will conduct an fMRI investigation of the mechanisms underlying a digital detox.

For this project, we are looking for master thesis students. If you are interested or would like to receive more information about this project, please contact Tim van Timmeren t.vantimmeren@uva.nl


Dagelijkse structuur en gewoonte-gedrag in Anorexia Nervosa

In dit project worden patienten met anorexia nervosa vergeleken met een controle group op het aanleren van een nieuwe (neutrale) gewoonte. Hoe goed zijn de twee groepen in het aanleren van een nieuwe gewoonte en deze incorporeren in hun dagelijks leven? Hangt dit samen met de mate van structuur van hun dagelijks leven?

Voor dit project zoeken we 1-2 masterthese studenten of studentassistenten. Voorwaarden zijn bereidheid om te reizen naar verschillende centra voor werving van deelnemers (reiskosten worden vergoed), NL-talig, en een interesse in eetstoornissen en de psychologie van leren en motivatie. Voor meer informatie, email: Sanne de Wit, s.dewit@uva.nl.


The mechanism of habitual behavior

Habitual behavior plays an important role in our daily lives.  Habitual behavior was initially performed in order to achieve a specific goal, but has gradually shifted over time towards behavior that can be triggered automatically by the presence of cues in the environment. The aim of this research is to increase our understanding of the behavioral mechanism that underlies habitual behavior. We use computer tasks to investigate the gradual transition that takes place from goal directed behavior to habitual behavior and examine factors that differentiate habitual behavior from goal directed behavior. Please contact Sanne de Wit, s.dewit@uva.nl, for more information.