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.

For example, we are interested in the question of which boundary conditions (e.g., needs, emotions) underlie right-wing radicalization.

A particular current focus is on the question of how people behave in crises and how resilience in crises can be improved. 

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 control 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

Psychology of Crises and Threat

Hahn, L. & Walther, E. (in press). Ambivalence toward the implementation of preventive measures in (un-)vaccinated German citizens. European Journal of Health Psychology.

Nachtwey, P, Walther, E (2023). Survival of the fittest in the pandemic age: Introducing disease-related social Darwinism. PLoS ONE 18(3): e0281072.

Halbeisen, G., Domes, G. & Walther, E. (2023). Is stress colorblind? Exploring endocrine stress responses in intergroup contexts using a Virtual Reality-based Trier Social Stress Test (TSST-VR). Psychoneuroendocrinology

Maldei-Gohring, T., Opdensteinen, K. D., Hellbach, C., Nowakowski, N., Grassmann, T., Hofer, J., Walther, E., & Hechler, T. (2022). Ein halbes Leben lang Corona: Auswirkungen der Covid-19 Pandemie auf die psychische Gesundheit von Vorschulkindern und ihren Bezugspersonen. (Half a lifetime of Corona. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of preschool children and their parents). Kindheit und Entwicklung, 31(2), 91-99.

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.