Professional site of Gjalt-Jorn Peters
Behavior change research | Health psychology | (Online) Intervention development | Applied social psychology

I am Gjalt-Jorn Peters. I am a behavior change professional on the cross-section between behavior change science (psychology), methodology and statistics and technology (ICT).

Since I got my first computer when I was 12, they have played a large role in my life (in retrospect, back then some may have thought that they played too large a role). When I finished high-school, therefore, the logical choice was to study computer science. I tried this for half a year in Enschede, but a combination of factors made me decide to stop (one of these factors was that as it turned out, you need actual mathematics for computer science; which was not my strongest point, and which I definitely did not enjoy).

I moved to Maastricht and started the study of Psychology. This turned out to be a great choice, as this study came much easier to me. During my study, I became active in faculty board functions, as a teaching assistent (teaching mainly programming and statistics) and as a research assistent. I specialized in cognitive psychology, specifically cognitive ergonomy. After this study, I did a PhD. project on the determinants of ecstasy use and related behaviors (you can read it here), mainly supervised by Gerjo Kok (Social Psychology Network, Google Scholar Citations), and additionally by Charles Abraham (Professional website), Herman Schaalma (Social Psychology Network), and Kay Bartholomew (University website). I then continued with a post-doc project into threatening communication (you can read our articles here), supervised by Gerjo Kok (Social Psychology Network, Google Scholar Citations) and Rob Ruiter (Social Psychology Network, Google Scholar Citations). During my PhD. and post-doc projects, I taught mainly research skills (e.g. methodology & statistics), programming, social psychology, and health behavior change, specifically Intervention Mapping.

When I finished this project (towards the end of 2011), I became assistant professor ("Universitair Docent" in Dutch) at the Dutch Open University. Here, I teach the research skills courses (methodology and statistics). At this time, I also founded my company (Greater Good). Finally, I moved to Brussels. Since then, I've been focusing on teaching, writing up all the data that I still had lying around, and working on the first two projects of Greater Good: Creatisy (an online tool to help people to develop theory- and evidence based behavior change interventions) and Qualicoder (an online tool for qualitative analysis, intended as a (much) cheaper (and of course better) alternative to expensive commercial packages such as NVivo and Atlas.ti).

After a year in Brussels, in early 2013 a period of moving around a bit started, during which I lived in Maastricht, Delft, Amsterdam, Delft again, and I finally settled again in Maastricht halfway 2014. During this period I also started working on an R package called userfriendlyscience. In 2015, my temporary 4-year contract at the Open University was changed into a permanent position, and currently I work at the Open University, teaching the research skills courses (I coordinate the introductory course in quantitative analyses, and co-coordinate the course on qualitative research) and supervising bachelor- and masterthesis students. I mainly do research into methods for behavior change, determinants of recreational substance use, smoking, and 'partying safely', and try to improve the the way psychologists to research (see this paper about why everybody should stop using Cronbach's alpha and what they should use instead). I also maintain a number of pages where I collect resources to make them publicly available, such as a page on effective behavior change at