Research literacy and User-Friendly Research Support

Aims and scope

The aim of our research is to support research literacy and evidence-based thinking in both (future) scientists and laypeople. For this purpose, we explore the development of competencies and beliefs which are needed to adequately evaluate and use scientific information:

  • Which knowledge and skills do people need to draw valid conclusions from existing scientific evidence?
  • How good are people at weighing contradictory evidence from multiple sources?
  • How can individuals’ epistemic beliefs, i.e., their ways of thinking about the nature of knowledge and knowing, be changed through interventions?
  • What are the predictors of individual trust in science?

Among others, the results of these studies are used to design research infrastructures which support people in finding and evaluating scientific information. For this reason, our research unit leads a cross-functional working group on user experience and user studies regarding the ZPID products.

Selected publications

Rosman, T., & Grösser, S. (2023).

Belief updating when confronted with scientific evidence: Examining the role of trust in science.

Public Understanding of Science, 9636625231203538.

Jonas, M., Kerwer, M., Chasiotis, A., & Rosman, T. (2023).

Indicators of trustworthiness in lay-friendly research summaries: Scientificness surpasses easiness.

Public Understanding of Science, 096366252311763.

Schneider, J., Rosman, T., Kelava, A., & Merk, S. (2022).

Do open-science badges increase trust in scientists among undergraduates, scientists, and the public?

Psychological Science, 33(9), 1588–1604.

Kerwer, M., Rosman, T., Wedderhoff, O., & Chasiotis, A. (2021).

Disentangling the process of epistemic change: The role of epistemic volition.

British Journal of Educational Psychology, 91(1), 1-26.

Rosman, T., Mayer, A.-K., Merk, S., & Kerwer, M. (2019).

On the benefits of ‘doing science’: Does integrative writing about scientific controversies foster epistemic beliefs?

Contemporary Educational Psychology, 58, 85-101.

Edited volumes and series

Zeitschrift für Psychologie

Special Issue "Psychological Perspectives on Science Communication"

Call for Papers

Frontiers in Psychology, Section Educational Psychology

Associate Editor (Dr. Tom Rosman, since 2020)

Editorial Contributions


Cooperation projects (selection)

Open Science and the Public's Trust in Science:

Prof. Dr. Michael Bosnjak (University of Trier, Robert Koch Institute), Henning Silber (GESIS)

Open Science Badges, Science Communication, and Trust in Science:

Dr. Jürgen Schneider (University of Tübingen), Prof. Dr. Samuel Merk (PH Karlsruhe)

Teachers' beliefs regarding scientific evidence

Prof. Dr. Samuel Merk (PH Karlsruhe) & Kirstin Schmidt, MA (PH Karlsruhe)