Clinical Psychological Science
The department Clinical Psychological Science (CPS) is involved in research and academic education in the area of experimental clinical psychology. Although the themes of CPS are quite diverse, their common ground is the experimental approach to the study of psychopathology.
CPS consists of four sections: Eating Disorders and Addiction, Forensic Psychology, Behavioural Medicine, and Clinical Psychology. In the ‘eating group’ Eating Disorders, research is conducted on different types of eating disorders and obesity. Examples of research are the relationship between impulsivity and obesity, and determinants of a distorted body image. The section Forensic Psychology focuses on memory aberrations, malingering, risk assessment of forensic psychiatric patients, and lie detection. In the Behavioural Medicine section, research is conducted on psychological factors (e.g. fear of movement and hypervigilance) in the etiology and maintenance of pain. The role of optimism in somatic disorders is also studied. Some members of this section are involved in investigating sexual disorders. The section Clinical Psychology focuses on personality disorders, anxiety, and depression. For instance, cognitive processes in borderline personality and depression are studied. Research on psychotherapy for these disorders is also carried out.
Besides its scientific value, the research of CPS is highly relevant to society. The prevalence of eating disorders, pain, sexual disorders, anxiety, depression or personality disorders is high. These conditions are associated with much human suffering and pose a large financial burden for society. Research findings may be used in their prevention and treatment. Professionals from the legal arena and those working in forensic hospitals may benefit from insights from forensic psychology.