Personal Page | Dirk Pelt, PhD

Dirk Pelt is currently Assistant Professor at the Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. After retrieving a master’s degree in Sociology at Utrecht University, he first pursued a career in industry, working as a psychometrician at a psychological test development company. Here, he combined his job with a PhD in Work and Organizational Psychology at Erasmus University Rotterdam. His PhD focused on the role of social desirability on personality assessments in the selection and assessment practice. After this, he joined Meike Bartel’s group as a Postdoc studying the genetic and environmental influences on well-being. He teaches psychometrics to bachelor students, supervises PhD students, and has contributed to the International Statistical Genetics (‘Boulder’) workshop as a faculty member. His research interests include personality, measurement, psychometrics and well-being. In recent years, his focus has shifted towards building machine learning prediction models using phenotypic, genetic and environmental exposure data in a data-driven, hypothesis-free fashion. As part of a dizygotic twin pair, he is a lifelong participant of the Netherlands Twin Register.

Dirk Pelt, PhD

Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

#Well-being #Personality #Psychometrics #Machine learning

Key publications


  1. Pelt, D.H.M., de Vries, L.P., & Bartels, M. (2022). Unraveling the relation between personality and well-being in a genetically informative design. European Journal of Personality. Link


  2. Van de Weijer, M.P., Pelt, D. H. M., de Vries, L.P., Huider, F., van der Zee, M.D., Helmer, Q., Ligthart, L., Willemsen, G., Boomsma, D.I., de Geus, E.J.C., & Bartels, M. (2022). Genetic and Environmental Influences on Quality of Life: The COVID-19 Pandemic as a Natural Experiment. Genes, Brain and Behavior, e12796. Link


  3. Pelt, D. H. M., Van der Linden, D., Dunkel, C. S., & Born, M. Ph. (2017). The General Factor of Personality and job performance: Revisiting previous meta-analyses. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 25, 333-346. Link


  4. Pelt, D.H.M., Schwabe, I., & Bartels, M. (under review at Behavior Genetics). Using item response theory modeling to address bias in genetic findings for happiness, life satisfaction, and social support. Pre-print: Link


  5. Sametoglu, S., Pelt, D.H.M., Eichstaedt, J.C., Ungar, L.H., & Bartels, M. (under review at Journal of Positive Psychology). The Value of Social Media Language for the Assessment of Wellbeing: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Pre-print: Link

Grants and awards


Mental Health AI & Machine learning grant (2022) Amsterdam Public Health Institute (APH) – 15,000€

Using machine learning algorithms to build prediction models for mental health in three different APH cohorts: A data-driven approach using genetic, environmental, and psychosocial predictors

Seed project grant (2020), Amsterdam Medical Data Science (AMDS) – 5,000€

Predicting adult mental health from an integrated data-driven childhood perspective:  integrating childhood mental health data with multi-layer genetic and exposome data using advanced data analytics

All publications

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