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 ecological momentary assessment.
Besides, we have also published several questionnaires that can be downloaded here.

The Center for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour is a DFG-funded Excellence Initiative of the University of Konstanz in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior aiming to create an expertise centre for the integrated study of collective behaviour across species and research departments.

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.

(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.

Sustainibility study: Smartphone-based assessment of eating, food shopping and food waste behaviors in daily life.
(funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF),  the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the EXC Collective Behavior)

EUCLID - Project: Risk perceptions & behavior in the context of the current coronavirus outbreak. Please visit for more information.
(funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF),  the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the EXC Collective Behavior)

Smartphone-based corona survey: This study complements the EUCLID project with a smartphone-based assessment of risk perceptions and behaviors in order to investigate the impact of the current coronavirus outbreak on daily life.

Mensa survey 2020: Scientific evaluation of the cafeteria of the University of Konstanz in cooperation with the SEEZEIT Studierendenwerk Bodensee.

Within the project Individual and Collective Appetite, we are investigating how information is acquired regarding the social and physical environment. How behaviour, information, and physiological states can be socially transmitted among individuals and what impact this can have on social structures in a collective - especially while eating (together). Furthermore, we are capturing behavioral fine-scale processes of all participating individuals in a video lab by using innovative 3D body posture imaging technology. (funded by the Center for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour )

(funded by the German Research Foundation, DFG; part of the project RISKDYNAMICS)

A study using ambulatory assessment to assess physical activity in everyday life. For this study a smartphone app was developed, able to feedback the assessed physical activity to the study participants on a daily basis, and to assess several psychological variables. The study aims at a better understanding of the interplay between physical activity and psychological factors.

First pilot studies started in 2018 and data collection with an advanced study design is still ongoing.

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 , spring 2017, spring 2019, and spring 2020.

(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.

The sugar study: This study examines whether a nudging-based intervention can decrease sugar intake in a habitual daily behavior such as sweetening coffee.

(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.

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. 

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
  Self-related and Other-related Risk Perception: The Impact of Risk Stereotypes and Affective Responses

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

Social Responses towards Optimists, Pessimists and Realists