PIDI Lab: UNDERSTAND & USE – Research in Pasteur’s Quadrant 

PIDI Lab members from left to right: Nora, Philipp, Dorothee, Sarah, Cornelia, Lars, Cindy, Lisa.

The goals of the PIDI-Lab are to understand 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. At the same time, we believe in the necessity to make research findings usable. That’s why members of the PIDI-Lab are also involved in creating online materials for health organizations (such as the ECDC) or in projects with authorities such as WHO/Euro or the Thuringian Ministry of Health. This combination of high understanding and high usability of research has been labeled “Pasteur’s Quadrant” (Stroke, 1997). We would like to follow this luminous tradition by striving for both high understanding and high usability to contribute to the attainment of public health goals.

You will find publications from previous and current projects on the publications page or download them here.

Reducing negative effects of communicating vaccine safety events – Erkenntnistransfer-Projekt SAFECOMM

This knowledge transfer project builds on the results of two DFG-projects, which have shown that narrative reports of vaccine-adverse events have a strong distorting effect on the perception of vaccination risks and the vaccination intention. The application partner is the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute (PEI). With Frank Renkewitz. This project is funded by the DFG. Doctoral student: Lisa Steinmeyer.


     Vaccination as strategic behavior: Vaccine hesitancy

In this project with Robert Böhm (RWTH Aachen University) we develop an interactive vaccination game to test the idea that vaccination decisions are also strategic interactions: when it is individually rational not to vaccinate, but collectively necessary to reach elimination goals – which factors make people vaccinate? Which factors invite free-riding? This project is funded by the DFG. Doctoral student: Lars Korn (Erfurt) and Nicolas Meier (Aachen).



Impfen 60+: Influenza and pneumococcal vaccination and sepsis prevention

In this joint project with the Robert Koch Institute, the Universitätsklinikum Jena and Lindgrün GmbH we will create and evaluate an evidence informed intervention to address vaccine hesitancy regarding influenza and pneumococcal vaccination in the elderly. We will draw upon the 4C model of vaccine hesitance (Betsch, Böhm & Chapman, 2015) and evaluate the intervention against vaccine uptake as well as conduct a cost effectiveness study. Funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research. More info here: Doctoral students: Dorothee Rauber, Sarah Eitze, Philipp Schmid (psychology), Winja Weber, Anne Reinhardt (communications), Nora Küpke (lab manager).

  Nudging health-care personnel to increase the uptake of influenza vaccination 

In this project with Prof. Ansgar Lohse, Universitätsklinikum Eppendorf, we aim at analyzing the reasons for vaccine hesitancy in healthcare workers. Furthermore, we design nudges to increase healthcare workers’ seasonal influenza vaccine-uptake. The project uses a combination of laboratory experiments and field experiments to optimize the validity of results and derive practical conclusions for the implementation of nudges in a clinical setting. This project is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research vis the DZIF (Deutsches Zentrum für Infektionsforschung).

Previous projects

  The Sensible DTU Epi-Game

In summer 2014 Robert Böhm and I implemented our ivax game in Copenhagen with our fabulous colleagues Dirk Brockmann (RKI; HU Berlin) and Sune Lehmann (DTU Copenhagen). Large amounts of data wait to be analyzed.

   Pregnancy and vaccination behavior

In a cooperation with the Robert Koch Institute the Mütterbefragung is interested in the development of vaccine criticism and the role that information sources, peers and own experiences play. Data collection was terminated in fall 2014. With Ole Wichmann & Birte Bödeker (Robert Koch Institut, Berlin).

  Cultural differences and vaccine communication

If vaccination is a pro-social decision, are there cultural differences? Are cultures, that are more collectivistic by nature more pro-social and more inclined to vaccinate? with Robert Böhm (RWTH Aachen University), Lars Korn & Cindy Holtmann (University of Erfurt). Funded by the Asia Pacific Alliance for the Control of Influenza.

  Tailoring Immunization Programmes

We support this WHO/Euro project by assisting communication students from the University of Erfurt to conduct field research: what reasons contribute to the low vaccine coverage in Baden-Württemberg, Germany? The methods are based on the  publication by WHO/Europe. With Constanze Rossmann (University of Erfurt), Bobb Butler (WHO/Europe) and Erfurt communication students. Funded by WHO/Euro.

Revising the online-decision aid “MMR Entscheidungshilfe” 

In this project, we are revising the online MMR-decision aid with the Federal Center for Health Education (Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung, BZgA) according to the International Patient Decision Aid Collaboration Standards (IPDAS). By applying these standards, we aim at ensuring a decision making process that is based on balanced information in accordance with the users preferences.


  Revising the reference document “Vaccine-related Safety Events” 

In this collaboration project between the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization and the University of Erfurt we develop a reference book as a part of a comprehensive WHO training program, targeting especially spokespersons in the ministry of health of different countries. The document will be published in 2017.

  Thüringer Impfportal

Which information do parents need to make good decisions? We used our experiences from our research to redesign the Thuringian online information website on vaccination. Now we look forward to see our suggestions in vivo. With Philipp Schmid, Lars Korn, Cindy Holtmann (University of Erfurt). Funded by the Thüringer MInisterium für Soziales, Familie und Gesundheit (2014).


    The narrative bias and vaccination

with Frank Renkewitz, Niels Haase & Philipp Schmid
How do narrative reports about vaccine adverse events  impact vaccine risk perceptions and vaccination intentions? The project was funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation).