Personal profile

Research interests

Dr. Paul Kocken is Associate Professor of Behavior Change of Erasmus School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Erasmus University Rotterdam. He coordinates the courses Health Psychology & Behavior Change and Professional Skills in the master’s track Health Psychology & Digital Interventions. His main area of experience is methods of health behavior change and epidemiology, focusing primarily on behavior change research and the application of scientific research methods in practice settings.

His background is in public health. He previously worked as research scientist in health and youth care practice at the Municipal Health Service GGD Rotterdam and Dutch center for innovation and applied research TNO.  His research and teaching activities are in the field of public health consequences of unhealthy behaviors and the development and assessment of effective behavior change interventions and policies. He uses scientific research methods in practice settings to accelerate behavior change and reduce health disparities.

His main research interests are:

  1. Systematic development of educational, nudging and systems interventions to change health behaviors.
  2. Epidemiology of health problems and health services research.
  3. Application of behavioral insights for policy making and equity.

His projects are with many stakeholders, such as municipalities, citizens, care organizations and universities. Currently, he closely works together with policy makers and researchers from Rotterdam Municipality in the collaborative expert center behavioral research and development Healthy’R. He is member of the Editorial board of Dutch journal health sciences TSG, Tijdschrift voor Gezondheidswetenschappen, that recently reached its 100 years volume.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


  • BF Psychology
  • behavior, public health, health promotion, skills, behavioral insights


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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