Spotlighting the Psychological State of Mind During the Coronavirus Pandemic

German Psychology Prize 2021 is awarded to Prof. Cornelia Betsch

From the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, she has repeatedly surveyed the general public about their knowledge of the virus as well as their perceptions of risk, protective behaviors, and trust in political decisions. The results of the "Covid-19 Snapshot Monitoring" - COSMO for short - have generated widespread public interest. Psychologist and professor of health communication, Prof. Cornelia Betsch, was and is a highly sought-after expert in the field. In her work, she has drawn a great deal of public attention to psychology. And even before the coronavirus pandemic, Prof. Betsch had already made a name for herself, most notably through her research on the topic of vaccination.

"By awarding the German Psychology Prize to Prof. Cornelia Betsch, the sponsors are honoring her outstanding achievements in the field of health communication in general and her contribution to managing the coronavirus pandemic in particular," says Prof. Michael Bosnjak, Director of the Leibniz Institute for Psychology (ZPID), the organization responsible for this year's presentation of the prize.

Cornelia Betsch is a professor at the University of Erfurt. Among other things, her research includes health communication and social aspects of health decisions, especially in the context of vaccination and opposition to vaccination. She works together with the Federal Centre for Health Education, the Robert Koch Institute, and the World Health Organization.

"This award is truly a special honor — also on behalf of my entire team for their outstanding work throughout the pandemic," says Betsch. "I am really excited that this prize draws attention to the fact that most crises require us to change our behavior — and we as psychologists should be at the forefront by asking the right questions and providing policymakers, the media, and the public with the insights on how we can understand and then change behavior."

The German Psychology Prize will be presented to Prof. Cornelia Betsch on November 25, 2021, tentatively in Berlin. The award ceremony will feature expert presentations and a panel discussion. This prize is awarded by the Association of Psychologists (BDP, Berufsverband Deutscher Psychologinnen und Psychologen), the Federal Chamber of Psychotherapists (BPtK, Bundespsychotherapeutenkammer), the German Psychological Society (DGPs, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie), and the Leibniz Institute for Psychology (ZPID, Leibniz-Institut für Psychologie) in recognition of outstanding achievements in psychological research characterized by significant social and practical relevance. The prize, endowed with EUR 10,000, is awarded every two years.

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