Research

Our research focuses on two main thematic areas. First, we investigate motives for normal eating behavior and interventions targeting normal eating. Second, we investigate how risks for communicable and non-communicable diseases are perceived and can be communicated effectively. In our studies, we employ a variety of methods including observational and experimental lab, field and online studies as well as smartphone-based eclogical momentary assessment.
 
Besides, we have also published several questionnaires that can be downloaded here.
 

Running Research Projects

DIE KONSTANZER LIFE-STUDIE:
A longitudinal study to assess how healthy the citizens of Konstanz are.
 
The Konstanz Life-Study [Konstanzer Life-Studie] is a prospective cohort-study with citizens from the Konstanz region. In the study, trajectory darta on psychological and physical health including clinical biomarkers, anthropometric and fitness measures is assessed. Data collection started in spring 2012 and further measurements took place in fall 2012, spring 2013, spring 2016 and spring 2017.
SMARTACT:
Individual and context-based real-time interventions promoting normal eating and physical activity through mobile technology
(funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF)
 
The project aims to improve health behaviors using mobile technologies (e.g. smartphones). In the project, eating behavior and physical activity are investigated in different contexts like in the family and at the workplace. The project focuses on developing a SMARTACT toolbox to allow real-time behavior assessment and feedback. Furthermore, the toolbox will be economically evaluated.
RISKDYNAMICS
(funded by the German Research Foundation, DFG)
 
People all over the world are exposed to many health risks in the form of communicable or non-communicable diseases, injury, violence, or natural catastrophes. To date, the major global risks for mortality are often directly or indirectly related to individual decisions and behaviors. Advancing the understanding of risk perception and its consequences for preventive behavior is therefore highly important, particularly in societies which increasingly expect individuals to take responsibility for their health-related behaviors. The present Research Unit examines the dynamic nature of risk perception and its relation to precautionary behavior across time in the context of mental and physical health, with the long-term goal of advancing and specifying theories on risk perception and health behavior changes to better inform and design effective public health promotion.
(funded by the German Research Foundation, DFG)
Principal Investigator: Dr. Gudrun Sproesser
 
The current project aims to provide a comprehensive systematization and assessment of traditional and modern eating. Furthermore, taking a cross-country perspective, it aims to provide a comprehensive understanding which psychological factors underlie these eating patterns in countries that differ in the degree to which they have moved through the nutrition transition. Specifically, the current project asks the question which eating motives are associated with traditional and modern eating patterns. Thereby, it takes a comprehensive approach by investigating why countries differ in traditional eating as well as why individuals differ.
(Scientific network funded by the German Research Foundation, DFG)
Principal Investigator: Dr. Verena Klusmann
 
The network aims to investigate the origins of images of aging and the underlying processes by which they influence important outcomes. Our goals are to propose a common terminology in this research area, to examine possible determinants of images of aging, and to understand the mechanisms by which they are operating.
DEDIPAC:
Determinants of Diet and Physical Activity
(funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF)
Thematic Area 2: Determinants of dietary, physical activity and sedentary behaviours across the life course and in vulnerable groups.
 
The overall objective of TA 2 is to provide the Pan-European research community with trans-disciplinary frameworks of determinants of dietary physical activity, sedentary behaviours and social inequalities, including best-practice methods to analyse data based on such frameworks and identification of gaps in current research.
CARE 2016: Risk Perception in H5N8
 
In 2016, cases of Avian Influenza (bird flu) were again registered in Germany. We are interested in how risks and threats due to the bird flu were perceived by the public.
Drinking Water in Germany [Trinkwasser in Deutschland]
 
Despite substantial price differences, environmental concerns and rigorously controlled tap water quality in most developed countries, bottled water consumption has been increasing substantially in the last years. To explore factors related to this consumption shift in more detail, we examine how health and risk related concerns as well as hedonic and convenience factors differ between consumer groups in Germany using online surveys as well as tasting experiments. 

Finished Research Projects

Why we eat what we eat: Motives, social context and economic impact
(funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF)
Study on Risks and Opportunities for Our Health: Germany, Japan 2011 and 2013
Temptations to Eat Moderated by Personal and Environmental Self-regulatory Tools
EU, FP7
  Self-related and Other-related Risk Perception: The Impact of Risk Stereotypes and Affective Responses
SOZNET
Curiosity and Social Networks
Social Networks and Health
(funded by the University of Konstanz (AFF))
 
Self-regulation of Eating Behavior and the Impact of Incentive Schemes
(Research Center funded by the German Excellence Initative)
Knowledge and Peceived Risk Related to the New Influenza A(H1N1)
Knowledge and Perceived Risk Related to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
Intrapersonal Perception and Curiosity
(funded by the University of Konstanz (AFF))
(Scientific network funded by the German Research Foundation, DFG)
Individualized Feedback after Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Screenings: The Role of Health Beliefs, Health Behaviors, and Actual Health Status
(funded by the German Research Foundation, DFG)
 
Individualized Feedback after Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Screenings
(S. Nº26-06, 01/08/06)
  Illness Representations of Depression and Perception about Helpfulness of Social Support: Comparing Depressed and Non-depressed Persons
Optimism, Social Support and Relationship Satisfaction in Couples
PRO:
Social Responses towards Optimists, Pessimists and Realists