You have reached Erik Bijleveld's personal website.

I do basic and applied psychological research on human motivation.

Publications | Outreach | Teaching | Contact


I don't think workers will be replaced by robots anytime soon. However, I do think that the nature of work will change in the years to come. Easier tasks will be outsourced to technology. Human workers will do tasks that are difficult to automate, like tasks that involve problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration. So, somewhat counter-intuitively, technological progress will increase, not decrease, the mental demands of work. Against the background of this societal development, I study how people carry out mental work. I especially focus on how rewards affect effort, performance, and mental fatigue.

I do studies in the laboratory (aiming for precision) and in the field (aiming for real-life relevance). I consistently use Open Science practices. I try to collaborate accross disciplines (e.g., here and here). I teach psychology (BSc, MSc) and behavioral science (MSc) at Radboud University, where I am an Associate Professor. I am also an Associate Editor at Motivation & Emotion.

You can find me on Twitter, OSF, Google Scholar, and YouTube.

My top 10 favorite publications

Dora, J., van Hooff, M. L., Geurts, S. A., Kompier, M. A., & Bijleveld, E. (2022). The effect of opportunity costs on mental fatigue in labor/leisure trade-offs. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. pdf osf

Dora, J., van Hooff, M. L., Geurts, S. A., Kompier, M. A., & Bijleveld, E. (2021). Fatigue, boredom and objectively measured smartphone use at work. Royal Society Open Science, 8, 201915. pdf osf

Rusz, D., Le Pelley, M.E., Kompier, M.A.J., Mait, L., & Bijleveld. E. (2020). Reward-driven distraction: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 46, 872–899. pdf osf

ten Broeke, P., Olthof, M., Beckers, D.G.J., Hopkins, N.D., Graves, L.E.F., Carter, S.E., Cochrane, M., Gavin, D., Morris, A.S., Lichtwarck-Aschoff, A.S., Geurts, S.A.E., Thijssen, D.H.J., Bijleveld, E. (2020). Temporal dynamics of sitting behavior at work. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117, 14883–14889. pdf osf

Algermissen, J., Bijleveld, E., Jostmann, N.B., & Holland, R.W. (2019). Explore or reset? Pupil diameter transiently increases in self-chosen switches between cognitive labor and leisure in either direction. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 19, 1113–1128. pdf osf

Bijleveld, E. (2018). The feeling of effort during mental activity. Consciousness and Cognition, 63, 218–227. pdf osf

Bijleveld, E., Custers, R., Van der Stigchel, S., Aarts, H., Pas, P., & Vink, M. (2014). Distinct neural responses to conscious vs. unconscious monetary reward cues. Human Brain Mapping, 35, 5578–5586. pdf osf

Bijleveld, E. & Aarts (2014). The psychological science of money. Edited volume. Springer. link

Bijleveld, E., Custers, R., & Aarts, H. (2012). Adaptive reward pursuit: How effort requirements modulate unconscious reward responses and conscious reward decisions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141, 728–742. pdf

Bijleveld, E., Custers, R., & Aarts, H. (2011). When favourites fail: Tournament trophies as reward cues in tennis finals. Journal of Sports Sciences, 29, 1463–1470. pdf


For readers who understand Dutch: I co-wrote a book (2021) titled "Sanctions for citizens: A useful tool for behavioral change?". It is aimed at policy makers and government employees. The book is Open Access and it is available here.

In addition, I regularly give talks and lectures (on the effects of incentives on mind and behavior) aimed at professionals. Please email me for more information.


I really enjoy teaching. I teach in our BSc and MSc programs in Psychology and in our 2-year Research MSc program in Behavioural Science. Here is an example of one of my undergraduate lectures:


== E-mail address

== Mail address

Erik Bijleveld
Radboud University
Behavioural Science Institute
P.O. Box 9104
6500HE Nijmegen
The Netherlands

== Visiting address

Radboud University
Maria Montessori Building, 4th floor
Thomas van Aquinostraat 4
6525GD Nijmegen
The Netherlands