My name is Merle van den Akker, a proud born-and-raised Dutch woman, currently residing in the UK, initially for my two master's degrees and now for my PhD in Behavioural Science.
This blog is what happens when a mind that wants to write hits the stone wall that is called academic publishing - a slow process where most of the benefits do not trickle down to the masses. Here you can hopefully read about everything behavioural science, personal finance and PhD.
As I said before, my name is Merle. And I’m from a small village in Limburg, the Netherlands. I have always had a keen interest in Psychology, Behavioural Science and Economics. This has led me to study both Psychology and Economics at University College Maastricht. After finishing my undergraduate education in the Netherlands I went abroad to the United Kingdom, where I went to study the MSc Behavioural and Economic Science, at the University of Warwick. After completing my second master’s degree, an MA in Social Science Research, I am in the PhD in Business and Management, specialising in Behavioural Science, at Warwick Business School.
Currently, I am studying how different payment methods affect different aspects of personal finance management, such as how often and how much we spend, but also whether we are more likely to save, or, unfortunately more likely, to get into debt. I have a keen interest in the intersection between personal finance and behavioural science, so this topic works incredibly well for me!
Don’t worry, there is more to me than just my research and education. I do actually have some time left for hobbies. When I have a break you can find me at a festival. In day to day life I enjoy running and reading (a lot!). I get enjoyment out of reading anything and everything. I pride myself on having read everything by Agatha Christie, nothing beats a cosy "whodunnit".
Money on the Mind's Story
Money on the Mind was an idea of mine long before I had the balls to start it.
My experience in academia taught me many things, one of those thing being that academia is a bubble. Life outside of this bubble is very different. And often, too often, what happens in the bubble, stays in the bubble.
When it comes to insights in behavioural science, personal finance or both, what gets found in the bubble should be released into the "wild", where it can benefit everyone, rather than remain hidden in inaccessible academic journals. This is where Money on the Mind and I come in.
With Money on the Mind I take findings and insights from academia and explain them in simple(r) terms, so not just academics understand what is going on. I will explore and explain the newest findings in behavioural science, psychology, economics and consumer finance. I will explain what a lot of heavy duty terms mean and how they are relevant. On a more practical note, I would like to show how you can fit scientific findings in your day to day life and be better for it.
As this blog is about spreading knowledge in an understandable manner, please do not hesitate to contact me with questions or suggested topics!
I'm always look for discussions, new topics, new collaborations and new work opportunities. So please, whether it's regarding any of those, or something completely different, do reach out to me!