Research Topics

One focus of the department is on how attitudes are formed, how they are related to behavior, and what factors contribute to attitude change. These questions are addressed in the context of political psychology, developmental psychology, environmental psychology, and psychobiological stress research, among others.

The department's own Virtual Reality Lab, where human behavior is investigated in Virtual Reality (VR), was established based on a grant from the German Science  Foundation (DFG). Here, you can find our funded projects.

EINSTEIN project: The department is part of the (research) cooperation between the University of Trier and the Katholischen KiTa gGmbH Trier.

Below you will find selected publications on the different research areas of the department.


Basic Understanding of Attitude Formation and Change 

Walther, E., Blask, K, Halbeisen, G., & Frings, C. (2019). An action cControl perspective of Evaluative Conditioning. European Review of Social Psychology, 30, 271-310. doi: 10.1080/10463283.2019.1699743

Blask, K., Frings, C., & Walther, E. (2016). Doing is for feeling. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 145, 1263-1268. doi: 10.1037/xge0000211

Trust in Politics

Walther, E., & Isemann, S.D., (2019). Einführung: Psychologische Erklärungen für den Erfolg der AfD. (introduction: Why is the AfD Successful?) In E. Walther & S. D. Isemann (Eds.), Die AfD – psychologisch betrachtet (pp.2-26). (The psychology of the AfD) Wiesbaden: Springer.

Walther, E., & Zoeller, M.A. (2014). Die Psychologie kriminalitätsbezogener Radikalisierung – Eine Einführung. (The Psychology of Criminal Radicalisation). Zeitschrift für Internationale Strafrechtsdogmatik, 9, 377-379.

Attitudes and Political Behavior

Isemann, S. D., Walther, E., Solfrank, S., & Wilbertz, F. (2019). Peacefully changing the world: Political system support facilitates peaceful, but prevents violent protest orientation among school students. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology. Advance online publication. dx.doi.org/10.1037/pac0000388

Habits, Attitudes and Existential Threat  Buttlar, B., Latz, M., & Walther, E. (2017). Breaking bad: Existential threat decreases pro-environmental behavior. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 4, 153-167. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01973533.2017.1296360

Buttlar, B., Walther, E., Pohl, C., & Gierens, A. (2020): Mind the gap between feeling bad and feeling dead: Stress but not death reminders elicit endocrine responses. Death Studieshttps://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2020.1740829

Hahn, L., Buttlar, B., & Walther, E. (2021). Unpacking plastic: Investigating plastic related ambivalence. Sustainability, 13(4), 2186. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042186

Ambivalence and Meat Consumption

Buttlar, B., & Walther, E. (2022). Escaping from the Meat Paradox: How morality and disgust affect meat-related ambivalence. Appetite, 168, 105721. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2021.105721