Willem Frankenhuis studies how cognition and behavior develop in harsh and unpredictable conditions. His primary focus is on hidden talents, abilities that are enhanced through adversity. He additionally examines reasonable responses, behavior that can be understood as a response to the costs and benefits associated with living in poverty.
Willem Frankenhuis obtained his Psychology BSc. (2005), Psychology MSc. (2006), and Philosophy MA. (2006) from the University of Amsterdam. In 2012, he received his Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology at the University of California, Los Angeles, before becoming a post-doctoral researcher in the Cognitive Development Center of the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. In December 2012, Willem Frankenhuis joined the Department of Developmental Psychology of the Behavioural Science Institute at Radboud University in the Netherlands as an Assistant Professor. There he attained the rank of Associate Professor in January of 2018. Since September 2020, he is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Utrecht University and a Senior Researcher at the MPI-CSL.