Aniek Wolsonline

Researcher at GEMH Lab
Short bio

I am interested in how and why applied games for mental health work, with a specific focus on the influence of one's mindset, motivation and expectations.

Top-3 games
  1. Polytopia
  2. Monument Valley
  3. Overcooked
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About me

In 2016 I graduated from the Research Master Behavioural Science at Radboud University in Nijmegen. With funding from a Research Talent grant from NWO (the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) I examine the effects of specific therapeutic techniques and nonspecific factors such as mindset, motivation and expectations in our applied games for mental health. Besides doing research for my PhD-project, I also work 1-2 days a week for the ethics committee social sciences at Radboud University.

Projects I’ve worked on

  • Category
    Anxiety | Depression
    Date
    05/10/2022
    Study/Course
    Location

    Are Improvements in Anxiety Associated with How Children Play MindLight?

    About the project

    The video game MindLight has been found to be an effective anxiety prevention program (see project: MindLight - Childhood Anxiety Prevention). However, we don’t know whether the clinical techniques incorporated in the game were responsible for the observed changes in anxiety symptoms. In this project we examined how children play MindLight, to what extent they interact with the clinical techniques in the game and how that relates to their anxiety improvements.

    view this project

  • Category
    Resilience
    Date
    05/10/2022
    Study/Course
    Location

    Nonspecific Factors in Video Games for Mental Health

    About the project

    More and more games are designed to promote mental health. If these games are found to be effective, it is important to investigate which factors are responsible for the improvements in mental health. Most often, this type of research focuses on the specific clinical techniques that were designed into the game. However, from the clinical literature it is known that, for instance, expectations, motivation, and one’s mindset about the malleability of symptoms play a major role in positive intervention outcomes. In my project I aim to investigate these nonspecific factors and examine how we can manipulate these factors in order to optimize video games for mental health.

    view this project

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Archive


My publications

  • The Role of Motivation to Change and Mindsets in a Game Promoted for Mental Health

    Wols, A., Poppelaars, M., Lichtwarck-Aschoff, A., & Granic, I. (2020). Entertainment Computing, 100371.

    Author: Aniek Wols

    Upload date: 07-07-2020

  • Mental Health Outcomes of an Applied Game for Children with Elevated Anxiety Symptoms: A Randomized Controlled Non-inferiority Trial

    Schoneveld, E.A., Wols, A., Lichtwarck-Aschoff, A., Otten, R., & Granic I. (2020). Journal of Child and Family Studies. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-020-01728-y

    Author: Elke Schoneveld

    Upload date: 06-24-2020

  • Aniek Wols on Google Scholar

    Developmental psychopathology, Applied video games, Specific and non-specific factors

    Author: Aniek Wols

    Upload date: 03-15-2020

  • Explicit Mental Health Messaging Promotes Serious Video Game Selection in Youth with Elevated Mental Health Symptoms

    Poppelaars, M., Wols, A., Lichtwarck-Aschoff, A., & Granic, I. (2018). Frontiers in Psychology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01837

    Author: Marlou Poppelaars

    Upload date: 09-10-2018

  • In-Game Play Behaviours during an Applied Video Game for Anxiety Prevention Predict Successful Intervention Outcomes

    Wols, A., Lichtwarck-Aschoff, A., Schoneveld, E. A., & Granic, I. (2018). Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 40, 655-668. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10862-018-9684-4

    Author: Aniek Wols

    Upload date: 06-11-2018

  • The Effect of Expectations on Experiences and Engagement with an Applied Game for Mental Health

    Wols, A., Hollenstein, T., Lichtwarck-Aschoff, A., & Granic (2021). Games for Health, 10(4), 207-219.

    Author: Aniek Wols

    Upload date: 08-09-2021

Worked together with

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Isabela Granic
Director of GEMH Lab

Professor and Chair of the Developmental Psychopathology department in the Behavioural Science Institute; writer; voracious podcast consumer; mother of two upstanding little gamers

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Professor at McMaster's University

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Joanneke Weerdmeester
Behavioral Scientist at GEMH Lab

Researcher, psychologist, PhD-candidate, gamer, dungeon master, language enthusiast and lover of all things geeky.

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Self-Employed Consultant

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Tom Hollenstein
Collaborator

Associate Professor in Developmental Psychology at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

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Associate Professor at Queen's University

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Anna Lichtwarck-Aschoff

Assistant Professor at the Developmental Psychopathology Department, mainly interested in general processes and principles of clinical change; mother of two wild boys.

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Assistant Professor

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Marlou Poppelaars

I am a Postdoctoral researcher passionate about internalizing psychopathology prevention and the use of technology and innovation for this purpose while stimulating intrinsic motivation. I love to read, cook and bake everything delicious. Working on finishing my dissertation and Two Dots (Level 3682 and counting).

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Postdoc

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Elke Schoneveld

Graduate and psychologist interested in the effect of games on mental health. Likes why-questions, social impact and multidisciplinary collaboration. Bubbly, (not so crazy) cat lady and outdoor enthusiast.

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Graduate

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Marieke van Rooij

Assistant prof. and data geek at the GEMH lab, dynamical modelling, personalisation, wants to put the I back into AI, news junkie, cat lover.

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Assistant Professor

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