Cindy Holtmann

PhD candiate, Member of PIDI Lab


The decision to use antibiotics for individual medical treatment includes interests of the individual as well as the entire society. This can lead to a situation of social dilemma, where the individual short-term goal of fast recovery from infection may come into conflict with societal long-term goals of preserving the effectiveness of antibiotics. I am specifically interested in individual and social aspects of antibiotic consumption. My work addresses the question whether people consider the impact of their decision to take antibiotics on another person and if the use of antibiotics of another person influences the decision to use the medicine in the future for self-treatment. In order to investigate individual behavior in connection with the use of antibiotics and its externalities I developed a dynamic common-pool-resource dilemma game, the “Mutant-Game”. The Mutant-Game integrates a real effort task and the phenomenon of emerging pathogen resistance where the decisions in one round of the game have an effect on the subsequent rounds.

Other projects and interests:

I was part of the APACI team, which is interested in cultural sensitive health communication and cultural differences concerning vaccine communication. Currently I assist to develop a crisis-communication reference book for the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization. Additionally I was involved in a project to redesign the Thuringian online information website on vaccination and assisted to write a technical report regarding the topic of measles and rubella elimination: “Communicating the importance of vaccination” for the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

As a member of the University of Erfurt’s Network GENIA I am interested in different perspectives and approaches in health research.
I think that it is important communicate research findings to the general public. The balance between scientific exactness and understandability is an exciting challenge. Follow the link to find an article (language German) where we discuss different strategies to accelerate vaccination uptake (In-mind, 2/2015).