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Laura van der Aar

Meet Laura:

Laura van der Aar

Laura van der Aar is a PhD candidate at the Brain & Development Research Center where she works on a large longitudinal project investigating the neural signature of self-concept development during adolescence. She is specifically interested in the relation between self-concept and successful educational decision-making; e.g. finding a major in higher education that fits your interests, abilities and goals.

To examine self-concept development in the context of educational decision-making, Laura follows a specific group of adolescents who experience difficulties with academic and career choices. These adolescents are taking part in a training program developed in the Netherlands for adolescents who have dropped out of higher education, named the “Gap year” program (www.breekjaar.nl). Participants of this program follow a 10-month training focused on personal development and start working on improving their self-esteem and decision-making abilities. Laura is interested to investigate how self-concept can be improved by training, and whether training related changes in self-concept can predict future successful educational decision-making.

Laura has a background in development psychology and completed her research masters in Leiden in 2014. Her PhD project is supervised by prof. Eveline Crone and dr. Sabine Peters.