Dr. Daryl Van Tongeren

Assistant Professor of Psychology
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Daryl R. Van Tongeren is an assistant professor of psychology at Hope College. Before joining the faculty in 2012, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Virginia Commonwealth University for one year. His research focuses on the social motivation for meaning and its relation to virtues and morality. Specifically, he and his students adopt a social-cognitive approach to study meaning in life, religion and virtues, such as forgiveness and humility. His research has been funded by generous grants from the John Templeton Foundation.

Areas of Expertise

Daryl's research focuses on social psychological explanations for some of life's "big questions" — he studies the social motivation for meaning, the social cognitive function of religion and the prosocial behaviors and virtues.


  • Ph.D., experimental social psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2011
  • M.A., experimental psychology, University of Colorado, 2006
  • B.A., psychology, Colorado Christian University, 2004

Honors and Awards

  • Towsley Research Scholar Fellowship (including pre-tenure sabbatical), Hope College, 2015–2019
  • Social Sciences Young Investigators Award, Hope College, 2014

External Research Grants

  • The John Templeton Foundation, Behavioral Measures of Humility in Couples, 2014–2016
  • The John Templeton Foundation, a Church-Based Humility Intervention, 2014–2016
  • The John Templeton Foundation, Making and Defending Meaning: Understanding and Reducing Tension between Scientific and Religious Meaning Systems, 2013–2015

Internal Research Grants

  • Frost Center for Social Science Research, Advancing an Understanding of Beliefs about Evolution, 2014–2015
  • Frost Center for Social Science Research, Preliminary Studies on the Role of Meaning in Scientific and Religious Worldviews, 2013–2014

Find Daryl's published works at Digital Commons.

Outside the College

When he's not writing, conducting research with students or teaching, Daryl enjoys spending time with his wife, walking their dog, cooking, enjoying Lake Michigan and running. He can also be found listening to a wide variety of music (from indie folk to punk rock) and cheering for the Denver Broncos.

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Dr. Daryl Van Tongeren

Phone Number616.395.7432

Schaap Science Center 1169 35 East 12th Street Holland, MI 49423-3605
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