Valerie van Mulukom


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    Personal profile


    Valerie completed her doctoral studies in 2014 at the School of Psychology, University of Auckland, New Zealand. There, she did research in the cognitive neuroscience of episodic memory and future event imagination. After her PhD, she completed a postdoctoral project at Aarhus University, Denmark, where she investigated the intersection between religious ritual and episodic memory. She then joined the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, University of Oxford, where she worked on religion, memory, and group processes. Valerie joined the Brain, Belief, and Behaviour Lab at the Centre for Advances in Behavioural Science, Coventry University, as Research Associate at the beginning of 2016. In 2019, she joined Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (Coventry University) as Research Fellow, together with others of the BBB Lab. She currently continues to research the cognitive science of imagination, memory, and belief as Assistant Professor. 

    Research Interests

    Belief; Cognitive science of religion; Conspiracy beliefs; Unbelief; Secular beliefs; Worldviews; Social bonding; Awe; Imagination; Episodic memory; Creativity; Art; Intuition; 

    Vision Statement

    My primary interests are in the cognitive underpinnings of imagination, memory, and belief, which I examine using methods from experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience. 

    Education/Academic qualification

    Psychology, Doctorate, Imagining a Brave New Future: The Effects of Novelty and Plausibility on Episodic Simulation, University of Auckland

    Oct 2009Oct 2013

    Award Date: 17 Mar 2014

    External positions

    Research Affiliate, University of Oxford

    1 Apr 2016 → …


    • BF Psychology
    • imagination
    • memory
    • belief
    • unbelief
    • religion
    • intuition
    • creativity
    • bonding
    • awe
    • art
    • conspiracy belief


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