| Faculty of Philosophy, Education, School, and Behaviour, Research

Study: How does social information influence antibiotic use?

In a new study by the Universities of Erfurt, Vienna and Copenhagen, scientists investigated how social information affects the use of antibiotics - with surprising results and a recommendation to reduce the use of antibiotics and thus maintain their effectiveness in the long term.

Since their discovery in 1928, antibiotics have saved the lives of millions of people. However, due to misuse or excessive consumption, e.g. for only minor illnesses, and their use in factory farming, the development of antibiotic-resistant germs is steadily increasing at the same time. This represents one of the biggest global problems in the health sector today. Thus, every time antibiotics are taken, the personal benefit - fighting a (mild) bacterial infection - is offset by the collective benefit - maintaining the effectiveness of antibiotics: a social dilemma that Professor Cornelia Betsch, Dr Lars Korn and other colleagues once examined in more detail. The study is presented in the research blog "WortMelder" (in German only): https://www.uni-erfurt.de/forschung/aktuelles/forschungsblog-wortmelder/studie-antibiotika-soziale-informationen