Thijs Bouman, PhD

Thijs Bouman, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

t.bouman@rug.nl
+31 50 3636473

Grote Kruisstraat 2/1
9712 TS Groningen
the Netherlands

Room 476

Summary of work: I am strongly interested in the personal and social motives behind people’s behaviours. My research focuses on personal and group values, as well as media coverage, and their influence on sustainable behaviours and intergroup attitudes. Currently, I study the interplay between these social factors and more technological energy solutions, aimed at engaging people in smart grids and energy transitions.

Research Projects

In my research I focus on how values affect environmental behaviours. I specifically focus on group and cultural values (e.g., China and the Netherlands), how they interact with personal values, and how they influence (collective) environmental behaviours. In addition, my research focuses on how technological innovations could be used to motivate and promote pro-environmental behaviours.

Efficient demand and supply matching by incentivizing end-users in buildings (MatchIT)

Smart grids promise a formation of a reliable electricity infrastructure that can meet demand with a high security of supply under possibly varying and affordable prices. While the energy is generated in a distributed fashion using solar panels, wind turbines and combined heat-power systems, it can be also stored, for example, using batteries. For such formation to be realized, an electricity infrastructure linking households, commercial buildings and industrial buildings needs control options and interventions that are efficient, intelligent and socially acceptable. Such options and interventions require an interdisciplinary approach that integrates multiple technological and social science disciplines. We propose an interdisciplinary framework that uses innovative control methods and intelligent automated techniques to improve the demand/supply matching that are acceptable to end-users. We develop distributed control methods that combine financial and social incentives with the physics of the electricity infrastructure in an optimal way. Within the electricity infrastructure, we focus on buildings where sensors collect indoor information. We realize intelligent techniques that use that information and automatically coordinate the use of HVAC and appliances in accordance to the infrastructure situation (congestion, energy prices, control signals) and end-user needs. Here, we examine which and why financial and social incentives are acceptable and effective to promote demand and supply matching among end-users. This knowledge provides the means to realize sustainable smart grids in which energy demand is matched to the local supply of energy. We first evaluate our framework in simulated and living-lab settings, and next apply the framework to the “Power Matching City” field lab in the north of the Netherlands.

Incentives and algorithms for efficient, reliable, sustainable and socially acceptable energy system integration (ERSAS

 This project explores how to realize efficient, reliable, sustainable and socially acceptable energy systems integration. We integrate macro (i.e., engineering/technical) and micro (i.e., psychological/social) perspectives and examine how to synergize infrastructure for gas, electricity and heat, as well as identify ways to promote efficient individual and household use of such energy systems. We examine which financial and social end-user incentives are acceptable and effective to match energy demand to the local fluctuating supply of various renewable energy sources to efficiently use the local capacity of the grid. The project is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Effective and acceptable energy management systems and user interfaces to match energy demand and supply (MERGE)

This project aims to develop an energy managing system and related user interface that can match demand and supply from various energy sources and that is likely to be adopted and properly employed by (potential) users. Future energy systems will integrate energy from various sources, that can be tailored to user preferences. To secure efficiency of the system, the system requires almost continuous decisions making. We will study the impact of user autonomy versus system automatisation in these decisions, as well as the effects of feedback to encourage energy conservation. We will collaborate with researchers from the faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of the University of Groningen, in order to design effective and acceptable user interfaces. The project is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

BeijIng Groningen Smart energy cities (BIGS)

Smart cities anticipate sustainable prosperity of their citizens. In order to accomplish this objective, the current development of cities is undergoing drastic technological shifts that need to be followed by innovative regulatory and behavioural changes with the final goal of increasing sustainability of cities. These changes require a strategy that integrates multiple disciplines and provides a comprehensive understanding and support from a psychological, technological and economic perspective. We propose an interdisciplinary framework that uses innovative and smart technologies to understand and promote sustainable use of energy and aid effective decisions by end-users. Energysense. Questionnaire and scale construction for Energysense. Energysense is a research initiative in which data on energy consumption and behaviour will be collected on a population-level.

European Commission research project on Societal Appreciation of Security of energy Supply (SASOS)

 Research Advisor (European Commission Expert Contract) for the European Commission DG ENER’s group on project focusing on energy security in four European Union countries (Estonia, Greece, Portugal, the Netherlands). Research activities consist of assessing and understanding how much value (psychological and monetary) the European society (citizens, companies, energy companies) attaches to security of energy supplies. This understanding will be obtained by conducting specialized consumer surveys and will contribute to the implementation of the Energy Union Roadmap initiatives.

Energysense survey design

 Research Advisor (European Commission Expert Contract) for the European Commission DG ENER’s group on project focusing on energy security in four European Union countries (Estonia, Greece, Portugal, the Netherlands). Research activities consist of assessing and understanding how much value (psychological and monetary) the European society (citizens, companies, energy companies) attaches to security of energy supplies. This understanding will be obtained by conducting specialized consumer surveys and will contribute to the implementation of the Energy Union Roadmap initiatives.

Welcome to the Village - DORP

 Welcome to the Village is an annual music festival in Leeuwarden (NL) with appr. 6000 visitors. Within this 3-day micro society, we conduct innovative and interactive research on sustainable behaviours, group behaviours and human values. Offering researchers and students opportunities to research socially and environmentally relevant topics.

Feeding the City / Almere / The psychology behind healthy and sustainable choices

 Within this research project we investigate how citizens of Almere perceive issues related to health, sustainability and society. More specifically, we want to know more about the underpinnings of these perceptions and opinions, especially in relation to the 2022 Floriade organized by Almere with the theme “Go Greener”.

PhD project: Local Globalism (sep 2010 - jan 2016)

 The Ph.D. project concerns the influence of threatening global situations (e.g., Arab rebellions) on local relations (e.g., within the Netherlands). Specifically, we study how people perceive threats from far away outgroups, and how these perceptions of distant intergroup threats impact more local relations with for instance immigrants. We connect our research to current situations, such as the Arab spring, the expansion of the European Union, global terrorist threats, and the global economic downturn.
 

Co-supervising PhDs:

  • Steph Johnson-Zawadzki – University of Groningen
  • Nieke Lemmen – University of Groningen
  • Lu Liu – University of Groningen
  • Wang Xiao – University of Groningen & Fudan University (Shanghai, China)

Supervision of student theses:

  • Master’s theses
  • Bachelor’s theses
  • Member of Master thesis evaluation committee

Teaching and coordinating courses:

Summer School DORP Welcome to the Village festival

We view Welcome to The Village as a temporary miniature society, in which we think it’s important to organise things in a logical and smart way. That’s why we dream aloud about what our festival should look like in the future. It will be fossil-free, waste free and we will understand exactly where our food is coming from. And if this dream comes true at our festival, it should be able to work in society at large as well. But before we can sustain ourselves like that, we’ve got a massive amount of innovation to undertake. It’s very hard to find enough alternative energy sources to replace our dieselgenerators, for example, or to find a suitable destination to reuse our waste. Because if you have found a new purpose for your garbage, it stops being garbage.

In DORP, this is something we are working on. Long before the festival takes place, we work on solutions for problems in sustainability with entrepreneurs, scientists, students, artists and other smartypants. Possible solutions are tested at the festival straight away. This year we already have some possible themes and cases for you to work on, so you can either sign up for one of those cases or come up with your own idea or project.

Social Environment and Behaviour

This course focuses on how to apply theories, methods, and interventions in social psychology to societal phenomena. Each lecture is dedicated to a different topic. Relevant theories will be discussed and applied to specific phenomena. You will learn more about the factors that influence behaviour and how interventions should be developed to change behavior as well as how they should be implemented and evaluated in different areas of application. You will gain insight in both the application of social-psychological theories and different research methods such as survey research, quasi-experimental research, experimental research, and evaluation research. Application areas include for example education (e.g., motivation of students, truancy), ethnic minorities (e.g., integration), environment (e.g., promoting energy conservation), health care (e.g., smoking cessation, safe sex), traffic and transport (e.g., reducing aggressive traffic behaviour and increasing traffic safety), consumer behaviour (e.g., the effects of media and commercials), and development aid (e.g., information communication technology).

Summer School Migration Matters (2016)

 The summer school offers new and multidisciplinary insights in the complex phenomenon of migration as well as training in innovative methods to study migration, such as participatory action research, spatial approaches and gaming. Guest speakers from both academia and practice will share their knowledge and experience with the students. Participants will explore and address various ways of knowledge valorization. 

Personal, Social and Cultural Change (2015 - 2016)

In this interactive course, students will be introduced to social psychological theories and models of personal, social, and cultural change. Students will be able to identify relevant factors that influence behavioural change in daily life. The course will focus on behaviour in the fields of health (e.g., well-being), pro-environmental behaviour (e.g., rule compliance), and intergroup relations and group processes (e.g., intergroup conflict, development aid). Students will learn (1) how to analyse and (2) how to design theory-driven interventions and a monitoring and evaluation plan to test the effectiveness of their developed interventions. Each week will be dedicated to a different theme and students will work on small group assignments to practise their skills (e.g., design an intervention, formulate policy implications, engage in a debate to raise funds). A background in psychological theories and experimental thinking is essential for this advanced class!

Current Topics of Intergroup Relations in Society (2015 - 2016)

People around the world support collective action against violence. They experience anger even though they were not personally insulted but an ingroup member. They are in conflict with or even help other groups. Every day different developments of intergroup relations such as demonstrations, conflicts or cooperation are reported in the media. In this course, the central focus is on social psychological theories of intergroup relations that explain current societal issues and provide insights on how to develop interventions. Every session is dedicated to a different topic. In the first half of the class students will present and lead the discussion of the main hypotheses and contradictions based on the assigned readings and apply these to recent developments of intergroup relations in their home countries. They are invited to use creative ideas to engage the class into the discussion. The second half will be dedicated to the discussion of recent empirical research, applied small group assignments, or discussions about societal issues with experts. Active participation, presentation in class, and writing are components of this interactive class. This will be an advanced class for students with an interest and background in social psychology!

Designing interventions (2015 - 2016)

The products we buy cause waste problems, youngsters fight against the police, patients do not take their medicine as prescribed. These problems can all be solved by changing the thinking or behavior of people; this is the expertise of the social psychologist. This course aims at teaching a structured method that will lead to effective, theoretically well-founded interventions to solve all kinds of practical problems. In the course students will design an intervention to solve a problem that a company or organization is dealing with. At the end of the course students will present their intervention to the company or organization. Next, they will design an intervention to solve an individual, social or societal problem of their own choice. The method taught in this course will teach you how to design effective interventions. Also, several guest lecturers will explain how they use this social psychological knowledge in their own organization or company.

2018

Bouman, T., Steg L., Kiers H.A.L. (2018). Measuring Values in Environmental Research: A Test of an Environmental Portrait Value Questionnaire. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 564, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00564

Jans, L., Bouman, T., & Fielding, K. (2018). A part of the energy “In crowd”: Changing people’s energy behavior via group-based approaches. IEEE Power and Energy Magazine, 16(1), 35-41. DOI: 10.1109/MPE.2017.2759883

2016

Georgievski, I., & Bouman, T. (2016). On the relationship between automation and occupants in smart buildings. 240-241.

Bouman, T. (2016). Threat by association: How distant events can affect local intergroup relations [Groningen]: University of Groningen

2015

Bouman, T., van Zomeren, M., & Otten, S. (2015). When threats foreign turn domestic: Two ways for distant realistic intergroup threats to carry over into local intolerance. British Journal of Social Psychology, 54(3), 581-600. DOI: 10.1111/bjso.12098

2014

Bouman, T., van Zomeren, M., & Otten, S. (2014). Threat by association: Do distant intergroup threats carry-over into local intolerance? British Journal of Social Psychology, 53(3), 405-421. DOI: 10.1111/bjso.12046

Bouman, T. (2014). Threat by Association: From distant threats to local intolerance. Poster session presented at EASP General Meeting 2014, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

2013

Bouman, T., van der Meulen, M., Goossens, F. A., Olthof, T., Vermande, M. M., & Aleva, E. A. (2013). Peer and self-reports of victimization and bullying: Their differential association with internalizing problems and social adjustment (vol 50, pg 759, 2012). Journal of School Psychology, 51(3), 435-435. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsp.2013.04.001

Bouman, T., van Zomeren, M., & Otten, S. (2013). Threat by association: From distant threats to local intolerance. Poster session presented at SPSP annual meeting, New Orleans, United States.

2012

Bouman, T., van der Meulen, M., Goossens, F. A., Olthof, T., Vermande, M. M., & Aleva, E. A. (2012). Peer and self-reports of victimization and bullying: Their differential association with internalizing problems and social adjustment. Journal of School Psychology, 50(6), 759-774. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsp.2012.08.004

2011

Bouman, T., van Zomeren, M., & Otten, S. (2011). De Overdraagbaarheid van Verre Groepsdreigingen. Paper presented at Annual conference meeting of ASPO , Tilburg, Netherlands.

2017

Radio 1 – 20017, May 24 – De nieuwsgieren

BNR – 2017, March 16 – Parijs en duurzame keuzes

2016

P+ – 2016, December 20 – Groene breinbreker

Het Parool – 2016, January 30 – Slecht nieuws uit Turkije stigmatiseert Turken hier

Leeuwarder Courant – 2016, January 24 – Gekleurd beeld

BNR – 2016, January 18 – ‘Verre’ vreemdeling lijdt ook onder onterechte associaties met zijn land

Mindwise – 2016, January 13 – Foreign threats, nearby consequences

Radio 1 – 2016, January 11 – De Ochtend (10:58 min)

Dagblad van het Noorden – 2016, January 9 – Nederlandse moslims lijden onder IS

NRC.next – 2016, January 8 – Nieuws van ver kleurt je blik thuis

De Volkskrant – 2016, January 6 – Impact van slecht nieuws is grenzeloos

UK – 2016, January 6 – Angst zonder grenzen

Duurzaam nieuws – 2016, January 5 – Negatief nieuws uit verre landen versterkt intolerantie

Scientias – 2016, January 4 – Globalisering vergroot begrip van wereld niet

ScienceGuide – 2016, January 4 – Globalisering vergroot begrip van wereld niet

2015

De kennis van nu (NPO) – 2015, August 14 – Crisis Griekenland straalt af op Turkse en Marokkaanse Nederlanders

OOG omroep Groningen – 2015, augustus 12 – Nieuws van ver veroorzaakt lokale intolerantie

Unifocus – 2015, augustus 11 – De overdraagbaarheid van verre groepsdreigingen | Threat by association

Member of Scientific Board for Nederlandse Vereniging Dierentuinen Werkgroep Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek

Member of Scientific Board for DORP at Welcome to the Village Festival Leeuwarden

Active reviewer for journals like:

  • British Journal of Social Psychology
  • China Economic Review
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Environment and Behaviour
  • European Journal of Social Psychology
  • Psychological Science
  • Social Psychological and Personality Science