Niek completed both his Bachelor studies and Research Master studies (cum laude) in Social/Cognitive Psychology at Utrecht University.
Since joining Leiden Law School, Niek’s research has shifted from fundamental cognitive psychology to more applied research. In his work, Niek combines insights from philosophy, moral psychology and law to investigate legal decision-making processes in the context of insolvency law, using experimental research designs.
His research investigates to what extent cognitive biases influence legal professionals’ judgments in the context of business failure and director liability. The difficulty in such cases is that judgments need to be made in hindsight. That is, while the outcome of a certain course of events is known. When evaluations of ex-ante decisions are influenced by ex-post information, this is called ‘outcome bias’. Special attention is given to how judgments, concerning for example foreseeability, proximate cause, and ultimately liability, are influenced by ex-post information. In addition, his research investigates whether individual factors, such as personality and beliefs influence the impact of outcome information on judgments and which mechanisms can be deployed to protect oneself from biases.