Understanding and fighting the impact of conspiracy mentality

Project details

Funding: German Research Foundation (DFG)
Grant Term: 01.03.24 - 28.02.2026
Project Manager: Prof. Dr. Kai Sassenberg
Project Staff: Dr. Svenja Frenzel


Project description

In recent years, conspiracy theories have become the center of societal attention and spread successfully via social media. The negative consequences of conspiracy beliefs are particularly salient in health behaviors (e.g., vaccination) and environmental protection behaviors (e.g., meat consumption). The research project aims to answer two fundamental research questions: (1) What influence do conspiracy beliefs have on health behavior and environmental protection behavior? (2) How can the adverse effects of conspiracy beliefs be counteracted - even if they are already firmly anchored in a person's belief system? In addition, we aim to identify exact mechanisms that promote or reduce belief in conspiracies. To answer these questions, in this research project, we place a particular focus on the source of communication ("Who is sharing the information?") and the trust in it ("Does the person have sincere motives?").

Contact Person

Dr. Svenja Frenzel
Research associate

+49 (0)651 201-2861