Project Information

Kurt Lewin Instituut
Heidelberglaan 1
Room Number H1.42
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30 - 253 3027

Project Information

Project Title
"Psychology of Loss Management"

VU University Amsterdam - Social and Organizational Psychology

PhD Student
Xiaoyue Tan

Prof. dr. Paul A.M. van Lange (VU University Amsterdam)
Prof. dr. Ilja van Beest (Tilburg University)
Dr. Jan-Willem van Prooijen (VU University Amsterdam)

15 July 2013 - 15 July 2017

External sources: CSC (Chinese Scholarship Council)


Researchers define major losses as a reduction in resources, in which a person has a significant emotional investment (Harvey, 1996). Unexpected major loss happens frequently in the world, which is full of random events. Such unexpected major loss could negatively influence people’s lives and health. Furthermore, there is a growing call for the development of an interdisciplinary psychology of loss (Harvey & Miller, 1998). In the current research proposal, we attempt to explore people’s decision-making and coping in the context of unexpected major losses. We plan to do a series of studies to test four specific hypotheses. In particular, our hypotheses are that (a) people would choose to take risks to restore the status quo when facing unexpected major loss, especially when they are approach motivated; (b) people tend to expect a compensation that is bigger than what they have lost; (c) emotional compensation would facilitate loss acceptance and helping behaviors; (d) existing cultural belief systems has long-term effects on people’s loss acceptance and subjective well-being. The overarching research goal is to broaden our views on how people manage unexpected major loss, and effectively build resilience.

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