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He has a background in literary theory and comparative literature. His Ph.D.-research (1998) was conducted at the department of Literary Studies at Utrecht University (The Netherlands) and the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign, US). He specializes in the psychology of literature, focusing on the effects of reading literary texts on outgroup attitudes and moral self-concept. On this subject he published several books and articles, among which The moral laboratory. Experiments examining the effects of reading literature on social perception and moral self-concept (Amsterdam: Benjamins, 2000), and in 2004 ‘Foregrounding and its effects on readers’ perception’ (Discourse Processes, 38, 193-218). From 1998 to 2001 he conducted (postdoc) research at the Free University of Amsterdam, looking at aspects of literary communication that may be responsible for the effects of reading on intergroup attitudes. Since 2001 he is lecturer at the Department of Media and Culture Studies (Utrecht University), and conduct studies concerning the reception of film. He train students in the Humanities in research methods, especially experimentation. On this subject he recently finalized a handbook (Scientific Methods for the Humanities) in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Will van Peer (University of Munich) and Dr. Sonia Zyngier (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro).