Helen Fischer

I am a postoctoral scholar at the Leibniz Institut für Wissensmdien, Tübingen, and hold a substitute professorship at the Chair for General Experimental Psychology, University of Mainz, Germany. Previously, I was a visiting scholar at the Centre for Adaptive Rationality (ARC), Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany.

I was a postdoctoral researchers at the Complex Adaptive Systems and Resilience Thinking stream, Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm, Sweden, funded by a fellowship from the German Research Foundation (DFG).

I hold a PhD in cognitive Psychology from Heidelberg University, Germany.

My key research areas are the relationship of metacognition, motivated reasoning, and beliefs about politicized science. How does insight into the validity and fallibility of our own thoughts shapes beliefs about climate change, COVID-19, or vaccination? Insight into own reasoning errors and biases. Science-related misinformation

Key Publications

Fischer, H., Said, N & Huff, M (2022). Fischer, H., Huff, M., & Said, N. (2022). Polarized climate change beliefs: No evidence for science literacy driving motivated reasoning in a US national study. American Psychologist.

Said, N*., Fischer, H*., & Anders, G (2022). Contested Science: Individuals with higher metacognitive insight into interpretation of evidence are less likely to polarize. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. * Shared first authorship

Fischer, H., & Said, N. (2020). Importance of domain-specific metacognition for explaining beliefs about politicized science: The case of climate change. Cognition, 208, 104545.

Fischer, H., van den Broek, K. L., Ramisch, K., & Okan, Y. (2020). When IPCC graphs can foster or bias understanding: evidence among decision-makers from governmental and non-governmental institutions. Environmental Research Letters, 15(11), 114041.

Fischer, H., Amelung, D., & Said, N (2019). The accuracy of German citizens’ confidence in their climate change knowledge. Nature Climate Change, 9(10), 776-780.

Amelung, D*., Fischer, H.*, Herrmann, A., Aall, C., Louis, V. R., Becher, H., Wilkinson, P. & Sauerborn, R (2019). Human health as a motivator for climate change mitigation: results from four European high-income countries. Global Environmental Change, 57, 101918. * Shared first authorship

Watts, N., Amann, M., Arnell, N., Ayeb-Karlsson, S., Belesova, K., …Fischer, H., … & Campbell-Lendrum, D. (2018). The 2018 report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change: shaping the health of nations for centuries to come. The Lancet, 392(10163), 2479-2514.

Research overview

  • Metacognition and politicized science such as climate change, vaccination, or COVID-19
  • Motivated reasoning
  • Misinformation
  • Climate change communication

Fellowships & awards

2019 Admission and travel stipend, Summer Institute Bounded Rationality in the Digital World, Max Planck Institute for Human Development (MPIB), Berlin

2018 Research Fellowship for one-year postdoctoral visit at Stockholm Resilience Centre, DFG

2018 Travel stipend, University of Missouri and National Science Foundation for International Workshop and Symposium on Probabilistic Specification and Quantitative Testing of Decision Theories

2018 Travel stipend, Risk and Uncertainty Conference, University of Amsterdam, Heidelberg Centre for the Environment (HCE)

2018 Fellowship, Zukunfstkolleg at Heidelberg Centre for the Environment

2016 Stipend to conduct research at 22nd United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) in Marrakesh, HCE