Jaap van Ginneken

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Jaap van Ginneken, 2009

Jaap van Ginneken (born September 8, 1943 in Hilversum) is a Dutch psychologist and communication scholar.[1]


Van Ginneken completed a bachelor’s degree at the Radboud University Nijmegen, a master’s at the University of Amsterdam, followed by a brief stint at the École pratique des Hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris, and finally a Ph. D. with distinction on mass psychology and crowd psychology. He taught at various universities, ultimately as a long-time associate professor at the International School and Communication Science Department of the University of Amsterdam.[2]


For most of the 1970s, he worked as a Paris-based newspaper correspondent and roving reporter on third world affairs for Dutch media, with isolated contributions to foreign newspapers such as the French Le Monde and the British The Guardian. In line with the spirit of May 1968 in France and widespread opposition to the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam war, he adhered to the unequal exchange and dependency theory, and came to sympathize with liberation movements and third world revolutions. Two of his early books then focused on the new conflicts arising from them. The rise and fall of Lin Piao (and the so-called ‘Gang of Four’) dealt with ultraleftism during the Chinese cultural revolution. The third Indochina war dealt with the subsequent confrontation between China, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.

In the course of the 1980s, however, Van Ginneken recognized that he had become too much of a fellow traveler, and returned to academic work in his original fields. On the one hand, he published a series of studies on the history of political psychology,[3] crowd psychology,[4] mass psychology[5] and social psychology.[6] As well as on new approaches to mass psychology and collective behavior sociology, in line with complex adaptive systems and chaos theory in Collective behavior and public opinion – Rapid shifts,[7] with a further Dutch title on self-organization and swarming.[8] On the other hand, he published a series of studies on media psychology, and stereotypes about cultural identity. In the international news media: with Understanding global news.[9] In movies: with Screening difference – How Hollywood blockbusters imagine race, ethnicity and culture.[10] As well as on the clash of civilizations,[11] with further Dutch titles on classical comic strips, interpersonal communication and the immigration debate.

Some of his more recent Dutch books dealt with further mass psychology subjects such as behavioral economics and finance,[12] hidden persuaders,[13] and emotional contagion in large groups.[14] Next to his academic work, Van Ginneken always remained involved in a wide range of non-academic projects, for instance in science communication: for national events, major museums and prime-time television. Today, he is an independent speaker and writer, based near Nice in France.


(English titles)


  1. Recent major interviews in Dutch:
    One page interview, largest daily De Telegraaf, May 29, 2010(Dutch). Morning quality paper De Volkskrant: suzanneweusten: artikelen(Dutch). professional weekly Intermediair: "hoogopgeleide heeft geen baas nodig"(Dutch). monthly Communicatie: p-productions opdrachtgevers(Dutch). Medical monthly Arts en auto: "De medische wereld zit vol bokito's"(Dutch). NTR/ VPRO science television program (2nd quarter): : "Botsingen: mensenmassa's en dierenzwermen"(Dutch). PKZ, Belgium: Interview Jaap van Ginneken en Ludo Daems on YouTube (Dutch).
  2. Lisa Kumar, The writers dictionary, Farmington Hills, Michigan: St. James Press 2011 (26th ed.). ISBN 1-55862-756-1.
  3. ‘Outline of a cultural history’. Ch. 1, pp. 3-22, in W. Stone & P. Schaffner (1988), The psychology of politics, New York: Springer. French transl.: "Hermès: documents irevues"(French).
  4. Crowds, psychology and politics. Reviews: history cooperative journals 99-3 ; Cambridge Journals Abstract 2942744.
  5. Mass movements. Reviews: Wiley online library "Review Mass Movements (doc type)".
  6. ‘Social orientations’. Ch. 7, pp. 220-244, in J. Jansz & P. van Drunen (eds., 2004), A social history of psychology, Oxford: Blackwell.
  7. Collective behavior and public opinion. (Dutch: Brein-bevingen). Review: "Read On".
  8. De kracht van de zwerm – Zelfsturing in de organisatie, Amsterdam: Amstel/ Business Contact, 2009 (illustrated). Documentation: "Business Contact: voetnoten" . Review: "Digitaal krantenarchief NRC".
  9. Understanding global news. (Dutch: De schepping van de wereld in het nieuws). Review: "Sage Journals".
  10. Screening difference. (Dutch: Exotisch Hollywood). Review: "Vlex".
  11. ‘9/11 as a trigger for long-term shifts in world public opinion’, International Communication Gazette, Vol. 4, No. 4 (Aug. 2007), pp. 323-333. abstract: International Communication Gazette.
  12. Gek met geld – Over financiële psychologie, Amsterdam: Amstel/ Business Contact 2010.
    Reviews of Gek met Geld in Dutch newspapers : "Telegraaf"(Dutch). "Nrc Next blog"(Dutch). "Nrc Next"(Dutch).
  13. Verborgen verleiders – Hoe de media je sturen, Amsterdam: Boom 2011 (3rd ed.). Review: "Nrc: Radio en Televisie"(Dutch).
  14. Het enthousiasme virus – Hoe gevoelens zich explosief verspreiden nu iedereen on-line is, " Amsterdam: Amstel Business Contact 2012"(Dutch).

External links