Prof. Dr. Cornelia Betsch

As a psychologist, I am a professor for health communication at the University of Erfurt, Germany. I serve as a member of the German Commission for the Verification of Measles and Rubella Elimination (Federal Ministry of Health @ Robert Koch Institute). With colleagues I founded the University of Erfurt’s Network GENIA on interdisciplinary health research. (detailed CV: see link on right side bar). I am responsible for the master program in health communication at the University of Erfurt.

(Foto: M. Borggreve)


My work aims at understanding principles of health behavior by applying a judgment and decision-making and strategic-interaction perspective to infectious disease control – especially with regard to the vaccination decision and prudent use of antibiotics. We are interested in social and individual aspects of health and medical decision making.

Research interests: health and social psychology

  • Social and individual aspects in health and medical decision making
  • psychology and infection control (vaccination decisions, prudent use of antibiotics)
  • Risk perception and communication
  • evidence-informed health communication

Academic career

11/2017: Heisenberg full professor of health communication at the University of Erfurt

07/2013: Habilitation University of Erfurt (habil.): Zur Rolle der Risikowahrnehmung und Risikokommunikation bei Präventionsentscheidungen am Beispiel der Impfentscheidung.

02/2006: PhD (Dr. phil.), University of Heidelberg: “Preference for intuition and deliberation measurement and consequences of affect- and cognition based decision making” (summa cum laude). Advisor: Prof. Dr. Henning Plessner

12/2002: Diplom in Psychology (Dipl.-Psych.), University of Heidelberg
10/2002: Diplom thesis: Decision support and post-choice satisfaction



11/2013: University of Erfurt: promotion to «Akademische Oberrätin auf Zeit» – research fellow until 2017, 100%

12/2008: University of Erfurt: promotion to «Akademische Rätin auf Zeit» – research fellow until 2013, 100%

2003 – current: University of Erfurt: Researcher and Scientific Manager of the Center for Empirical Research in Economics and Behavioral Sciences (CEREB) ; 100%

01/2003 – 02/2006: University of Heidelberg/University of Mannheim: Researcher (50%) at the Collaborative Research Centre (Sonderforschungsbereich) 504 on concepts of rationality, decision behaviour and economic modelling