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Rakoen Maertens

BSc MSc PhD DPhil FCPS CPsychol

Juliana Cuyler Matthews Junior Research Fellow

Social Psychology | Applied Behavioural Science


My work centres around three topics:

  • Social Influence & Misinformation: how can we use the insights of social psychology to understand and tackle the influence of misleading information.

  • Psychometrics & Impact Evaluation: how can we effectively measure psychological constructs (incl. AI-based methods), and how can we improve the methodological frameworks to talk about impactful psychological interventions.

  • Applied Behavioural Science & Nudging: how can we transform behavioural science into practical solutions, policy, and product design.

Before starting my Junior Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford (New College), I finished my PhD on ”The Long-Term Effectiveness of Inoculation Against Misinformation" at the University of Cambridge, for which I won the CSAR Award for Applied Research. Back in Belgium I finished my BSc and MSc (summa cum laude) in Experimental Psychology at Ghent University, where I received the Best Master Dissertation of Belgium award by the Belgian Association for Psychological Sciences and Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium.


I have a particular interest in science diplomacy and translating scientific research into impactful interventions. I represented three NGOs at the United Nations and am currently co-leading the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) United Nations Committee. Much of my work is done in collaboration with the private, public, and third sectors, including work with the UK Cabinet Office and the European Commission on misinformation susceptibility and vaccine uptake and work with Google and WhatsApp on interventions to train people to recognise misinformation on their platforms.


This year I am lecturing and tutoring for the Social Psychology course at the Department, with a focus on the following topics:

  1. Personality, Social Influence, and Norms

  2. Misinformation & Influence and Persuasion in the Digital Age

  3. Nudging & Applied Behavioural Insights