Roland Imhoff

Roland Imhoff
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz | JGU · Institute of Psychology

Dr. (Ph.D.)

About

151
Publications
119,301
Reads
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4,338
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2012 - present
University of Cologne
Position
  • Underlying processes of secondary antisemitism
January 2012 - present
Universität Köln
January 2008 - December 2011
University of Bonn
Position
  • Towards a process-model of increased latencies for sexually attractive targets (Viewing Time)
Education
October 2005 - November 2010
University of Bonn
Field of study
  • Psychology
August 2000 - June 2001
Washington State University
Field of study
  • Women Studies
October 1998 - March 2005
University of Bonn
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (151)
Article
There has been an increasing scholarly interest in the psychology behind conspiracy theories, the belief that events in the world are brought about by the secret coordination of others with negative intentions. Typically, people differ systematically in the degree to which they endorse a wide range of such theories, suggesting a general suspicious...
Article
The current work aimed to uncover the pattern of attention given to external comparison standards when engaged in social judgments. In a series of 5 experiments (N = 463), a Modified Spatial Cueing Task provided evidence for a general Comparison Induced Delay (CID), but found no signs of visuospatial attention (Pilot, Study 1 & 2). However, the CID...
Preprint
Full-text available
The present research aims to identify unique characteristics of written conspiracy theories. In two preregistered quantitative human-coded content analyses, we compared 36 pairs of conspiratorial and non-conspiratorial online articles about various events. As predicted, conspiratorial articles – compared to non-conspiratorial articles – contained l...
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Full-text available
Historical perpetrator groups seek to shield themselves from image threat by advocating for closing the discussion of their crimes. However, from a broader theoretical perspective, such demand for historical closure (HC) may also reflect willingness to reconcile with the victim group or to focus on the future rather than the past. In nine studies a...
Preprint
Historical perpetrator groups seek to shield themselves from image threat by advocating for closing the discussion of their crimes. However, from a broader theoretical perspective, such demand for historical closure (HC) may also reflect willingness to reconcile with the victim group or to focus on the future rather than the past. In nine studies a...
Article
Recent research has showed that people with right-wing political orientations and political extremists are more likely to harbor conspiracy beliefs. Utilizing a multisite data set (23 countries, N > 20,000), we show that corruption moderates how political orientation predicts conspiracy beliefs. We found that (1) the difference between left- and ri...
Article
Full-text available
We address an apparent discrepancy in the literature on how context stimuli influence evaluations of target stimuli. While a rich literature suggests that target evaluations are often contrasted away from the valence of context stimuli, reported effects of evaluative conditioning (EC) are almost exclusively assimilative. Specifically, when a neutra...
Preprint
Full-text available
There has been an increasing scholarly interest in the psychology behind conspiracy theories, the belief that events in the world are brought about by the secret coordination of others with negative intentions. Typically, people differ systematically in the degree to which they endorse a wide range of such theories, suggesting a general suspicious...
Preprint
Recent research has showed that people with right-wing political orientations and political extremists are more likely to harbor conspiracy beliefs. Utilizing a multisite dataset (23 countries, N > 20,000), we show that corruption moderates how political orientation predicts conspiracy beliefs. We found that (1) the difference between left- and rig...
Article
Assessment reports about individuals charged/convicted of offenses have an influence on significant personal consequences for examinees by sentencing decisions regarding placement in a forensic hospital or prison. As there is evidence that unstructured clinical judgments have limited accuracy, research-based practice recommendations call for the us...
Article
Full-text available
Conspiracy theories express mistrust in common explanations and epistemic authorities. Independent of concrete content, the extent of endorsing conspiracy theories has also shown associations with interpersonal mistrust. Arguing from an evolutionary and error‐management perspective, this increased interpersonal mistrust could either represent an en...
Article
Full-text available
Germany’s past is marked not only by the atrocities of the Holocaust, but also by a history of collective attempts to come to terms with these crimes. The present paper focuses on the previously rarely explored consequences of perceived success in dealing with a perpetrator past for the moral ingroup-image and the demand for an end to the discussio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Although sometimes used interchangeably, the present review highlights the important differences between generalized worldviews suspecting conspiracy at play (conspiracy mentality) and specific beliefs about the existence of a certain conspiracy (conspiracy theory). In contrast to measures of beliefs in specific conspiracy theories, those of conspi...
Article
Full-text available
Religious and conspiracy beliefs share the feature of assuming powerful forces that determine the fate of the world. Correspondingly, they have been theorized to address similar psychological needs and to be based on similar cognitions, but there exist little authoritative answers about their relationship. We delineate two theory‐driven possibiliti...
Article
Full-text available
Although sometimes used interchangeably, the present review highlights the important differences between generalized worldviews suspecting conspiracy at play (conspiracy mentality) and specific beliefs about the existence of a certain conspiracy (conspiracy theory). In contrast to measures of beliefs in specific conspiracy theories, those of conspi...
Preprint
From health to personal property and intimate relationships, people have valuable things that require effort and care to be maintained. We present a new measure of individual differences in maintenance striving, guided by a refined theoretical perspective on maintenance. Based on the expectancy-value framework, the General Maintenance Orientation (...
Preprint
Full-text available
Religious and conspiracy beliefs share the feature of assuming powerful forces that determine the fate of the world. Correspondingly, they have been theorized to address similar psychological needs and be based on similar cognitions, but there exist little authoritative answers about their relationship. We delineate two theory-driven possibilities....
Article
Full-text available
People differ in their general tendency to endorse conspiracy theories (that is, conspiracy mentality). Previous research yielded inconsistent findings on the relationship between conspiracy mentality and political orientation, showing a greater conspiracy mentality either among the political right (a linear relation) or amongst both the left and r...
Article
Full-text available
While the Holocaust is widely regarded by Germans as one of the worst human atrocities, they differ in their readiness to express guilt or, in contrast, in their demand to close this chapter of history. We propose that such demand for historical closure (HC) is particularly pronounced among individuals high in collective narcissism and is systemati...
Preprint
Full-text available
While the Holocaust is widely regarded by Germans as one of the worst human atrocities, they differ in their readiness to express guilt or, in contrast, in their demand to close thischapter of history. We propose that such demand for historical closure (HC) is particularly pronounced among individuals high in collective narcissism and is systematic...
Preprint
This research tested the phenomenology of maintenance goals as distinct from goals to reach better outcomes (progress goals) and goals to prevent worse outcomes (prevention goals). In Studies 1 and 2, participants reported personal goals and categorized them as maintenance, progress, or prevention. Maintenance goals played a major role in reported...
Preprint
Guiding people’s attempts to sustain current states—from health and personal relationships, to households, jobs, and the biological environment—maintenance goals are a fundamental albeit understudied aspect of human motivation. We tested how comparisons to the self and to others impact the motivation to maintain. We hypothesized that maintenance go...
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Full-text available
A rich body of research points to racial biases in so-called police officer dilemma tasks: participants are generally faster and less error-prone to “shoot” (vs. not “shoot”) Black (vs. White) targets. In three experimental (and two supplemental) studies (total N = 914), we aimed at examining the cognitive processes underlying these findings under...
Article
Full-text available
Social judgments are often influenced by comparison to some standard in the environment, either moving the judgment closer (assimilating) to or away (contrasting) from this standard. Which direction this effect will take depends heavily on the relative standing of these standards on the judgment dimension compared to the target of the judgment. In...
Article
Full-text available
Conspiracy theories arise for virtually any public event (e.g., pandemics, assassinations, disasters). In light of positively correlated endorsements of such beliefs, many have pointed to a more general mindset behind this. Others have argued against this notion of a consistent mindset. Applying Latent Profile Analyses, we examine the evidence for...
Article
Full-text available
Past research suggests that certain content features of conspiracy theories may foster their credibility. In two experimental studies ('N' = 293), we examined whether conspiracy theories that explicitly offer a broad explanation for the respective phenomena and/or identify a potential threat posed by conspirators are granted more credibility than c...
Preprint
Full-text available
A rich body of research points to racial biases in so-called police officer dilemma tasks: participants are generally faster and less error-prone to “shoot” (vs. not “shoot”) Black (vs. White) targets. In three experimental (and two supplemental) studies (total N = 914), we aimed at examining the cognitive processes underlying these findings under...
Preprint
Full-text available
Conspiracy theories arise for virtually any public event (e.g., pandemics, assassinations, disasters). In light of positively correlated endorsements of such beliefs, many have pointed to a more general mindset behind this. Others have argued against this notion of a consistent mindset. Applying Latent Profile Analyses, we examine the evidence for...
Preprint
Full-text available
Past research suggests that certain content features of conspiracy theories may foster their credibility. In two experimental studies (N = 293), we examined whether conspiracy theories that explicitly offer a broad explanation for the respective phenomena and/or identify potential threat posed by conspirators are granted more credibility than consp...
Preprint
When are people motivated to maintain what they have? We tested differences in the motivation to maintain versus approach and avoidance at different distances from one’s ideal state. Although keeping things as they are (maintenance) is often equated with avoiding changes, we predicted pronounced differences between these two goals. We reasoned that...
Article
Full-text available
From a social psychological perspective, the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated protective measures affected individuals’ social relations and their basic psychological needs. We aim to identify sources of need frustration (stressors) and possibilities to bolster need satisfaction (buffers). Particularly, we highlight emerging empirical research...
Article
A plethora of theories on human motives proposes that people have a fundamental need for control and an intrinsic desire to avoid submission to others. The current paper investigated an important exception to this general claim. Five experiments show that self-control failure leads people to strategically prioritize more social submission. In Exper...
Preprint
Full-text available
It is almost a cultural truism that erotic images attract our attention, presumably because paying attention to erotic stimuli provided our ancestors with mating benefits. Attention, however, can be narrowly defined as visuospatial attention (keeping such stimuli in view) or more broadly as cognitive attention (such stimuli taking up one’s thoughts...
Preprint
Social judgments are often influenced by comparison to some standard in the environment, either moving the judgment closer (assimilating) to or away (contrasting) from this standard. Which direction this effect will take depends heavily on the relative standing of these standards on the judgment dimension compared to the target of the judgment. In...
Article
People gather information about others along a few fundamental dimensions; their current goals determine which dimensions they most need to know. As proponents of competing social-evaluation models, we sought to study the dimensions that perceivers spontaneously prioritize when gathering information about unknown social groups. Because priorities d...
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Full-text available
Although resilience is a multi‐level process, research largely focuses on the individual and little is known about how resilience may distinctly present at the group level. Even less is known about subjective conceptualizations of resilience at either level. Therefore, two studies sought to better understand how individuals conceptualize resilience...
Article
The question what people desire in their romantic partner has hitherto been dominated by a focus on gender. It has been repeatedly found that, when asked what they find important in selecting a partner, women indicate that they find status more important compared to men. Across five studies, we move beyond gender and base ourselves on general theor...
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Full-text available
According to German law, assessing the culpability of an accused person requires an initial assessment of whether the accused suffers from a condition that might in principle reduce or diminish culpability. This is followed by an evaluation of whether this condition did indeed impair the ability to either understand or control their actions. The im...
Article
Full-text available
When making judgements under uncertainty not only lay people but also professional judges often rely on heuristics like a numerical anchor (e.g., a numerical sentencing demand) to generate a numerical response. As the prosecution has the privilege to present its demand first, some scholars have speculated about an anchoring‐based unfair disadvantag...
Chapter
Full-text available
Although sexual interest is a fundamental part of every sexually reproducing species, it still remains to a large extent an enigma. To this day, a general theory of sexual interest is lacking, specifically, in terms of a causal theory on how sexual interests are developed. This lack of a theoretical framework to explain sexual interest as an everyd...
Preprint
Full-text available
The term viewing time (VT) effect refers to a phenomenon whereby respondents typically take longer to judge the sexual attractiveness of targets from sexually preferred (versus nonpreferred) categories. Although frequently characterized as an unobtrusive measure of respondents’ sexually motivated reactions to the stimulus images themselves, the typ...
Preprint
A plethora of theories on human motives proposes that people have a fundamental need for control and an intrinsic desire to avoid submission to others. The current paper investigated an important exception to this general claim. Five experiments show that self-control failure leads people to strategically prioritize more social submission. In Exper...
Preprint
Purpose: When making judgments under uncertainty not only lay people but also professional judges often rely on heuristics like a numerical anchor (e.g., a numerical sentencing demand) to generate a numerical response. As the prosecution has the privilege to present its demand first, some scholars have speculated about an anchoring-based unfair dis...
Article
Significance Human memory is fallible and malleable. In forensic settings in particular, this poses a challenge because people may falsely remember events with legal implications that never actually happened. Despite an urgent need for remedies, however, research on whether and how rich false autobiographical memories can be reversed under realisti...
Article
Full-text available
Past research has demonstrated that conspiracy belief is linked to a low level of self-reported general trust. In four experimental online studies (total N = 1105) we examined whether this relationship translated into actual behavior. Specifically, since the decision to trust relies on the ability to detect potential social threat, we tested whethe...
Article
Full-text available
Zusammenfassung Verschwörungsnarrative über die Herkunft oder Harmlosigkeit des auslösenden Coronavirus tauchten in Zusammenhang mit der weltweiten COVID-19 Pandemie auf. Krisen befeuern solche Erzählungen, weil sie Bedürfnisse nach Erklärung, Sicherheit und Kontrolle befriedigen können. Problematisch ist, dass die Zustimmung zu solchen Ideen mit g...
Article
Full-text available
Beliefs in conspiracies have been widely discussed in society since the worldwide outbreak of the pandemic triggered by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Since May 2020 there have been demonstrations throughout Germany in which conspiracy ideology played an important role. The number of conspiracy ideology channels and groups rose during the cri...
Chapter
Das Konzept der Humandifferenzierung bezeichnet einen Forschungsansatz zu der Frage, wie Menschen sich unterscheiden: sowohl voneinander als auch von nicht-menschlichen Entitäten wie Tieren und Artefakten. Die kulturelle Differenzierung von Menschen läuft zeitgleich in verschiedenen Sinnschichten des Kulturellen ab: Sie wird perzeptiv durch kogniti...
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Full-text available
Schuldfähigkeitsgutachten ziehen das öffentliche Interesse auf sich, da sie als Grundlage für die Beurteilung der Voraussetzungen einer freiheitsentziehenden Maßregel dienen. Die Forschungsliteratur verweist auf eine heterogene Gutachtenqualität in der Praxis. Seit der Veröffentlichung von Mindestanforderungen für Schuldfähigkeitsgutachten einer in...
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Full-text available
Research indicates that the memory of collective trauma influences attitudes towards contemporary social and political issues. We suggest that the specific attributions for trauma that members of victim and perpetrator groups make provide a more nuanced understanding of this relationship. Thus, we constructed and validated a measure of attributions...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the present study is to survey the treatment of persons with sexual dysfunctions by means of a survey among established alternative practitioners. Across Germany, alternative practitioners with a focus on psychotherapy, chi ropractic, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, home opathy, phytotherapy, osteopathy, kinesiology, aromather...
Article
Full-text available
Research suggests that belief in conspiracy theories (CT) stems from basic psychological mechanisms and is linked to other belief systems (e.g. religious beliefs). While previous research has extensively examined individual and contextual variables associated with CT beliefs, it has not yet investigated the role of culture. In the current research,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Past research has demonstrated that conspiracy belief is linked to a low level of self-reported general trust. In four experimental online studies (total N = 1105) we examined whether this relationship translated into actual behavior. Specifically, since the decision to trust relies on the ability to detect potential social threat, we tested whethe...
Article
Full-text available
Gemäß den aktuellen Empfehlungen für die Erstellung kriminalprognostischer Gutachten sind die Auftraggeber angehalten, den Gutachtenauftrag an den Sachverständigen möglichst präzise zu formulieren, den Gegenstand des Gutachtens zu beschreiben sowie klarzustellen, welche Fragen durch den Sachverständigen genau beantwortet werden sollen. Der Gutachte...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research suggests that belief in conspiracy theories (CT) stems from basic psychological mechanisms and is linked to other belief systems (e.g. religious beliefs). While previous research has extensively examined individual and contextual variables associated with CT beliefs, it has not yet investigated the role of culture. In the current research,...
Chapter
Ausgehend von einer Begriffserläuterung unterschiedlicher Formen des Antisemitismus wird der Antisemitismus als ein zentrales Moment verschwörungstheoretischer Weltbilder herausgestellt. Antisemitismus ist – wie viele Ressentiments gegenüber als mächtig wahrgenommenen Gruppen und im Gegensatz zu Vorurteilen gegenüber vermeintlich machtlosen Gruppen...
Preprint
A comment to Sakaluk (2020) pointing out that sex research has too many single study papers and we should thrive for a norm of multi-study investigations.
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Full-text available
During the coronavirus disease pandemic rising in 2020, governments and nongovernmental organizations across the globe have taken great efforts to curb the infection rate by promoting or legally prescribing behavior that can reduce the spread of the virus. At the same time, this pandemic has given rise to speculations and conspiracy theories. Consp...
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Full-text available
The attitudes towards children are more complex than simple positive/negative distinctions. In the present study, we sought in two studies (N = 445) to provide a tool to explore different facets of attitudes towards babies and procreation by developing and validating a questionnaire regarding attitudes towards procreation. Study 1 was conducted to...
Article
As proponents of two theories of social evaluation, we disagree whether people spontaneously differentiate societal groups' conservative-progressive beliefs (distinct claim of the agency-beliefs-communion or ABC model) or warmth/communion (distinct claim of the stereotype content model or SCM). Our adversarial collaboration provides one way to reso...
Article
Full-text available
Judgments we make about others often depend on the standards we use as comparisons. Investigations into the outcomes of these comparisons and potential moderators have often been limited to single dimensions and preselected standards. The current work instead uses multiple evaluative facial dimensions and a multitude of comparisons. A series of 4 e...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the lack of evidence for negative health effects of masturbation, abstinence from masturbation is frequently recommended as a strategy to improve one’s sexual self-regulation. We adopted a framework of perceived problems with pornography to collect first hints about whether abstinence from masturbation stems from a psychological and behavio...
Preprint
Full-text available
Exploring the association of distinct conspiracy beliefs (COVID-19 is a hoax; SARS-Cov-2 was human-made) with pandemic-related behavior.
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There is an active debate regarding whether the ego depletion effect is real. A recent preregistered experiment with the Stroop task as the depleting task and the antisaccade task as the outcome task found a medium-level effect size. In the current research, we conducted a preregistered multilab replication of that experiment. Data from 12 labs acr...
Article
The dimensions that explain which societal groups cooperate more with which other groups remain unclear. We predicted that perceived similarity in agency/socioeconomic success and conservative-progressive beliefs increases cooperation across groups. Self-identified members (N = 583) of 30 society-representative U.S. groups (gays, Muslims, Blacks, u...
Article
Full-text available
It is a hitherto open and debated question whether the belief in conspiracies increases or attenuates the willingness to engage in political action. In the present article, we tested the notion, whether (a) the relation between belief in conspiracies and general political engagement is curvilinear (inverted U-shaped) and (b) there may be opposing r...
Article
Full-text available
It is almost a cultural truism that erotic images attract our attention, presumably because paying attention to erotic stimuli provided our ancestors with mating benefits. Attention however, can be narrowly defined as visuospatial attention (keeping such stimuli in view) or more broadly as cognitive attention (such stimuli taking up one's thoughts)...
Article
Full-text available
To what extent are research results influenced by subjective decisions that scientists make as they design studies? Fifteen research teams independently designed studies to answer five original research questions related to moral judgments, negotiations, and implicit cognition. Participants from two separate large samples (total N > 15,000) were th...