Associated researcher in the Health Communication working group at Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) (Extern)

Office hours

Monday, 9-10 a.m.

Mailing address

Bernhard-Nocht-Institut für Tropenmedizin
AG Gesundheitskommunikation
Bernhard-Nocht-Straße 74
D-20359 Hamburg

Member (Institute for Planetary Health Behaviour (IPB))

Dr. phil. Lars Korn


Lars Korn’s main focus of research are psychological drivers of vaccine acceptance and the prudent use of antibiotics. In this context, he uses behavioral-economical approaches which models vaccine and antibiotics decisions as social dilemmas to observe and change people’s behavior. He is especially interested in social processes and contextual aspects that influence decision-making.

Since his job transfer from the University of Erfurt to the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, Lars Korn has also been involved in research on vaccine decisions in diverse cultural contexts. Of particular interest in this regard is the insight for health psychology in general. Many studies in this area examine individuals from WEIRD societies (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic). However, study findings may not necessarily be generalized and applied to other cultural contexts. He will be conducting psychological studies, experiments and replication projects to fill this gap to better understand health decision-making and to identify avenues for behavior change interventions.

Follow Lars Korn on LinkedIn

Areas of expertise: health psychology, health decision-making, social dilemmas, behaviour change

Curriculum Vitae

Academic career

  • 2016 – 2020          Dissertation in Psychology (Dr. phil.), University of Erfurt
  • 2011 – 2013          Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Psychology, University of Erfurt
  • 2007 – 2011          Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Sociology and Psychology, Friedrich-Schiller University Jena


  • 2021 – present      Bernhard-Nocht-Institute, Post-doctoral researcher in the working group health communication
  • 2020 – 2021           University of Erfurt, Post-doctoral researcher in the DFG-funded research project “Health Games
  • 2019 – 2020           University of Erfurt, Research Associate in the DFG-funded research project “Health Games
  • 2016 – 2019           University of Erfurt, Research Associate in the DFG-funded research project “I-Vax Game
  • 2013 – 2015           University of Erfurt, student assistant in different research projects


  • Korn, L. , Betsch, C., & Sprengholz, P. (2022). Sozial- und verhaltenswissenschaftliche Daten als wichtiger Baustein des Pandemiemanagements.In: A. W. Lohse & T. C. Mettenleitner (Eds.), Infektionen und Gesellschaft - COVID-19, was haben wir gelernt?, Springer-Verlag,
  • Henkel, L., Sprengholz, P., Korn, L., Betsch, C., Böhm, R. (2022). Understanding the trouble spot: Does vaccination status identification fuel societal polarization? Nature Human Behaviour.
  • Böhm, R., Holtmann-Klenner, C., Korn, L., Santana, A. P., Betsch, C. (2022). Behavioral Determinants of Antibiotic Resistance: The Role of Social Information. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 14(3).
  • Sprengholz, P., Korn, L., Eitze, S., Felgendreff, L., Siegers, R., Goldhahn, L., ... Betsch, C. (2022). Attitude toward a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy and its determinants: Evidence from serial cross-sectional surveys conducted throughout the pandemic in Germany. Vaccine, 40(51).
  • Sprengholz, P., Korn, L., Felgendreff, L., Eitze, S., Betsch, C. (2021). A lay perspective on prioritization for intensive care in pandemic times: Vaccination status matters. Clinical Ethics.
  • Betsch, C., Korn, L., Böhm, R. (2021). Reply to Weisel: From polarization to vaccination and back. PNAS, 118(13).
  • Betsch, C., Korn, L., Burgard, T., Gaissmaier, W., Felgendreff, L., Eitze, S., ... Bosnjak, M. (2021). The four weeks before lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany: a weekly serial cross-sectional survey on risk perceptions, knowledge, public trust and behaviour 3 to 25 March 2020. Eurosurveillance, 26(42).
  • Betsch, C., Korn, L., Felgendreff, L., Eitze, S., Thaiss, H. (2021). School opening during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: Public acceptance of wearing fabric masks in class. Public Health in Practice, 2
  • Betsch, C., Sprengholz, P., Schmid, P., Korn, L., Eitze, S., Ochel, P., ... Böhm, R. (2021). Einführung einer Impfpflicht: Eine politische Entscheidung, 2021. Deutsches Ärzteblatt, 118(49)
  • Betsch, C., Sprengholz, P., Siegers, R., Eitze, S., Korn, L., Goldhahn, L., ... & Jenny, M. A. (2021). Empirical evidence to understand the human factor for effective rapid testing against SARS-CoV-2. PNAS, 118(32).
  • Eitze, S., Felgendreff, L., Korn, L., Sprengholz, P., Allen, J., Jenny, M. A., ... Betsch, C. (2021). Vertrauen der Bevölkerung in staatliche Institutionen im ersten Halbjahr der Coronapandemie: Erkenntnisse aus dem Projekt COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring (COSMO). Bundesgesundheitsblatt, 64(3).
  • Felgendreff, L., Korn, L., Sprengholz, P., Eitze, S., Siegers, R. & Betsch, C. (2021). Risk information alone is not sufficient to reduce optimistic bias. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 17(5).
  • Korn, L., Böhm, R., Betsch, C. (2021). Reply to Rabb et al.: Why promoting COVID-19 vaccines with community immunity is not a good strategy (yet). PNAS, 118(14).
  • Krauth, C., Oedingen, C., Bartling, T., Dreier, M., Spura, A., de Bock, F., ... Robra, B.-P. (2021). Public preferences for exit strategies from COVID-19 lockdown in Germany – a discrete choice experiment. International Journal of Public Health.
  • Sprengholz, P., Korn, L., Eitze, S., Betsch, C. (2021). Allocation of COVID-19 vaccination: when public prioritisation preferences differ from official regulations. Journal of Medical Ethics, 47
  • Betsch, C., Korn, L., Sprengholz, P., Felgendreff, L., Eitze, S., Schmid, P., & Böhm, R. (2020). Social and behavioral consequences of mask policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117 (36) 21851-21853.
  • Korn, L., Böhm, R., Meier, N.W., Betsch, C. (2020). Vaccination as a social contract. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 17(26) 14890-14899,
  • Habersaat, K., Betsch, C., Danchin, M., Sunstein, C., Böhm, R., Falk, A., ... Butler, R (2020). Ten considerations for effectively managing the COVID-19 transition. Nature Human Behaviour, 4, 677–687.  
  • Betsch, C., Wieler, L.H., Habersaat, K. and the COSMO group (2020). Rapid, flexible, cost-effective monitoring tool for behavioural insights related to COVID-19 across countries. The Lancet,
    • The COSMO group for this paper are: Cornelia Betsch (PI), Lars Korn, Lisa Felgendreff, Sarah Eitze, Philipp Schmid, Philipp Sprengholz (University of Erfurt), Lothar H Wieler, Patrick Schmich (Robert Koch-Institute), Volker Stollorz (Science Media Center Germany), Michael Ramharter (Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for Tropical Medicine), Michael Bosnjak (Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information), Saad B. Omer (Yale Institute for Global Health), Katrine Habersaat, Martha Scherzer and Cristiana Salvi (WHO Regional Office for Europe).
  • Betsch, C., Böhm, R., Schmid, P., Korn, L., Steinmeyer, L., Heinemeier, D., ... & Küpke, N.K. (2019). Impfverhalten psychologisch erklären, messen und verändern. Bundesgesundheitsblatt, 1-10. 
  • Böhm, R., Meier, N., Groß, M., Korn, L., Betsch, C. (2018). The willingness to vaccinate increases when vaccination protects others who have low responsibility for not being vaccinated. Journal of Behavioral Medicine  Open Data Open Material Pre-Registered
  • Betsch, C., Schmid, P., Heinemeier, D., Korn, L., Holtmann, C., Böhm, R. (2018). Beyond confidence: Development of a measure assessing the 5C psychological antecedents of vaccination. PLoS ONE 13(12): e0208601.  Open Data Open Material
  • Korn, L., Betsch, C., Böhm, R., Meier, N. (2018). Social nudging: The effect of social feedback interventions on vaccine uptake. Health Psychology, 37(11):1045-1054.  Open Data
  • Juang, L.P, Simpson, J.A., Lee, R.M., Rothman, A.J., Titzmann, P.F., Schachner, M., ... Betsch, C. (2018). Using attachment and relational perspectives to understand adaptation and resilience among immigrant and refugee youth. American Psychologist, 73(6), 797–811. 
  • Betsch, C., Schmid, P., Holtmann, C., Heinemeier, D. & Korn, L. (2018). Erklärung und Veränderung von Präventionsverhalten. In:  Kohlmann, C.-W., Salewski, C., Wirtz, M. A. (Hrsg.) (2018). Psychologie in der Gesundheitsförderung. Bern: Hogrefe.
  • Böhm, R., Meier, N., Korn, L. & Betsch, C. (2017). Behavioural consequences of vaccination recommendations: an experimental analysis. Health Economics, 26, 66-75. Open Data
  • Betsch, C., Böhm, R., Korn, L., & Holtmann, C. (2017). On the benefits of explaining herd immunity in vaccine advocacy. Nature Human Behaviourdoi:10.1038/s41562-017-0056 Open Data
  • Korn, L., Betsch, C., Böhm, R., & Meier, N. (2017). Communicating high vaccine rates of refugees: How the best intentions can lead to harm. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 17, 364–365Open Data
  • World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe (2017). Vaccination and trust - How concerns arise and the role of communication in mitigating crises. Authored by Cornelia Betsch, Constanze Rossmann, Katrine Bach-Habersaat, Philipp Schmid, Cindy Holtmann, Lars Korn, Jascha Wiehn, Linda Mummer.
  • Betsch, C., Böhm, R., Airhihenbuwa, C. O., Butler, R., Chapman, G. B., Haase, N., ... Uskul, A. K. (2016). Improving medical decision making and health promotion through culture-sensitive health communication: An agenda for science and practice. Medical Decision Making, 36, 811-833.
  • Böhm, R., Betsch, C. & Korn, L. (2016). Selfish-Rational Non-Vaccination: Experimental Evidence from an Interactive Vaccination Game. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 131, 183-195.
  • Böhm, R., Betsch, C., Korn, L. & Holtmann, C. (2016). Exploring and promoting pro-social vaccination: A cross-cultural experiment on vaccination of health care personnel. BioMed Research International, 2016, 6870984.
  • Betsch, C., Korn, L., Holtmann, C. (2015). Don’t try to convert the anti-vaccinators, instead target the fence-sitters. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(49): E6725–E6726.
  • Korn, L., Holtmann, C., Betsch, C. & Böhm, R. (2015). Die Impfbereitschaft verstehen und verbessern: Wenn persönliche Impfentscheidungen im Konflikt mit dem Gemeinwohl stehen und wie man dieses Dilemma auflösen kann. In-mind, 2/2015. 
  • Betsch, C., Böhm, R., & Korn, L. (2013). Inviting free-riders or appealing to pro-social behavior? Game theoretical reflections on communicating herd immunity in vaccine advocacy. Health Psychology, 32(9): 978-85.


  • Korn, L. (2022). „Vaccine hesitancy in HIC und LMCs – Problemstellung und Lösungsansätze“ at the Tropenkurs (BNITM)
  • Korn, L. (2022). „Sozial- und verhaltenswissenschaftliche Daten als wichtiger Baustein des Pandemiemanagements“ at the Symposium „Infektionen und Gesellschaft – was haben wir gelernt?“ of the Akademie der Wissenschaften in Hamburg
  • Korn, L. (2021). “Impfverhalten verstehen und verändern” at the 24. Hamburger Impftag
  • Korn, L. (2021). Malteser Impfforum zur Impfbereitschaft von Menschen mit Migrationshintergrund
  • Korn, L. (2019). Panel discussion on vaccine mandates. Nudging and Beyond' conference, Utrecht
  • Korn, L. (2019). Vaccine acceptance in cat owners. 29th annual ECVIM-CA Congress, Milan
  • Korn, L, Betsch, C, Böhm, R, & Meier, NW (2017, August). Social nudging: The effect of social feedback interventions on vaccine uptake. Tagungsbeitrag auf dem 13. Kongress für Gesundheitspsychologie der DGPs-Fachgruppe für Gesundheitspsychologie, Siegen.
  • Korn, L. (March, 2017). Impfmüdigkeit – was steckt dahinter? Tagungsbeitrag auf dem 23. Kongress für Jugendmedizin, Weimar
  • Korn, L, Betsch, C, Böhm, R, & Holtmann, C (2016, September) “Think social!”: Cross-cultural experimental evidence shows that communicating the concept of herd immunity increases vaccine uptake. Tagungsbeitrag auf dem 50. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie, Leipzig