Felix G. Rebitschek

Head Research Scientist and CEO

Dr. Felix G. Rebitschek is Head Research Scientist and CEO of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy. Taking into account the nature of decision problems, his research aims at identifying accessible problem representations in order to empower decision-makers, e.g. with digital educative interventions when encountering digital health information. His work as a cognitive psychologist has its roots in his PhD (2014) for insights on diagnostic reasoning with causal models. He supported the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection's Advisory Council for Consumer Affairs for reports on Digital Health (2016), Digital Sovereignty (2017), and Consumer-friendly Scoring (2018). At the Harding Center, Dr. Rebitschek successfully acquired the projects Drohnenrisiken verstehen (150k EUR, Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure) and RisikoAtlas (1 million EUR, Federal Ministry of Justice and for Consumer Protection), which he manages. Among his extensive teaching activities, he trains health professionals and managers on risk communication, risk literacy, and decision-making under uncertainty internationally. In addition, he holds the lecture Digital Ethics and Society: data-based prediction and steering of behaviour at the Hasso Plattner Institute (University of Potsdam). Dr. Rebitschek has published on different aspects of digital technologies and psychology. He is also engaged in knowledge transfer concerning digital consumer and citizen scoring.

  • since July 2020: Head Research Scientist and CEO of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy
  • since January 2020: Research Program Leader at the Harding Center for Risk Literacy
  • since 2016: Head of the project RisikoAtlas (www.risikoatlas.de) for empowering consumers when they face problems of risk and uncertainty.
  • 2015 - 2019: Research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Harding Center for Risk Literacy, Berlin, Germany
  • 2014 - 2015: Stipend provided by the Harding Center for Risk Literacy, Berlin, Germany
  • 2014: PhD (Psychology), University of Greifswald, Germany
  • 2011 - 2014: Researcher, Phd Student, Department of Psychology, University of Greifswald, Germany
  • 2011: Diploma (Psychology), University of Leipzig, Germany
  • 2006: Diploma (FH, Media Management), Stuttgart Media University, Germany


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Scientific publications (selected)

Rebitschek, F. G., & Gigerenzer, G. (2020). Einschätzung der Qualität digitaler Gesundheitsangebote: Wie können informierte Entscheidungen gefördert werden? Bundesgesundheitsblatt - Gesundheitsforschung - Gesundheitsschutz, 63(6), 665-673. doi.org/10.1007/s00103-020-03146-3

Rebitschek, F. G., Reisel, D., Lein, I., & Wegwarth, O. (2019). Epigenetic Risk Assessment of Female Cancers: Women’s Information Needs and Attitudes. Public Health Genomics, 22(1-2), 46-57. doi.org/10.1159/000501975.

Rebitschek, F. G., Pashayan, N., Widschwendter, M., & Wegwarth, O. (2019). Do cancer risk and benefit–harm ratios influence women’s consideration of risk-reducing mastectomy? A scenario-based experiment in five European countries. PLOS ONE, 14(6), e0218188. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0218188.

McDowell, M. E., Gigerenzer, G., Wegwarth, O., & Rebitschek, F. G. (2019). Effect of tabular and icon fact box formats on comprehension of benefits and harms of prostate cancer screening: A randomized trial. Medical Decision Making, 39, 41-56. doi:10.1177/0272989X18818166.

Wegwarth, O., Widschwendter, M., Cibula, D., Sundström, K., Portuesi, R., Lein, I., & Rebitschek, F. G. (2018). What do European women know about their female cancer risks and cancer screening? A cross-sectional online intervention survey in five European countries. BMJ Open, 8(12), e023789. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-023789.

Rebitschek, F. G., Krems, J. F., & Jahn, G. (2016). The diversity effect in diagnostic reasoning. Memory & Cognition, 44(5), 789-805. doi:10.3758/s13421-016-0592-0.

Rebitschek, F. G., Bocklisch, F., Scholz, A., Krems, J. F., & Jahn, G. (2015). Biased processing of ambiguous symptoms favors the initially leading hypothesis in sequential diagnostic reasoning. Experimental Psychology, 62, 287-305. doi:10.1027/1618-3169/a000298.


Impact on Society (selected)

Invited talk „Being scored but informed – how to boost people‘s risk literacy for public discourse“. Interdisciplinary conference „Superscoring“, 11 October 2019, Cologne.

Keynote „Decision-making under uncertainty“. PDA Europe Annual Meeting, 24 June 2019, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Keynote „Beyond risk literacy – Empowering for problems of uncertainty“. South American Business Forum, 3 August 2018, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Invited talk at the Status conference Health promotion and digitisation of the Federal Association for Prevention and Health Promotion e.V., December 2016.

Keynote „homo heuristicus“. 14 Annual Meeting of the German Hernia Society, 8 July 2016, Würzburg, Germany.



German Psychological Society

Society for Judgment and Decision Making


Third-party funded projects raised

German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure
Project „Drohnenrisiken verstehen” (together with Mirjam Jenny)
164,000 € (2018)

German Institute for Economic Research
Project „SOEP-IS: Fehler algorithmischer Entscheidungsunterstützung” (together with Gerd Gigerenzer)
Representative household survey with N=3,000 in Germany (2018)

German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection 
Project „RisikoAtlas” development of methods and digital tools based on scientific results in order to support consumers in their decisions (together with Gerd Gigerenzer and Mirjam Jenny)
1,002.897.52 € (2016)

Lectures, consultancy, trainings (reimbursement and/or speaking fees received)

Public institutions and associations
Office of the State Government of Upper Austria
Federal Agency for Civic Education
Deutsches Studentenwerk e.V. (German National Association for Student Affairs - DSW)
Bremen University of Applied Sciences
Hochschule Esslingen University of Applied Sciences
Stiftung Baden-Württemberg
Chemnitz University of Technology
Universitätsklinik der Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Professional associations
Akademie für Psychologie (BÖP) GmbH
Ärztlicher Kreisverband Cham
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Thorax-, Herz- und Gefäßchirurgie (German Society for Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery)
Deutsche Herniengesellschaft (German Hernia Society)
Schweizer Physiotherapie-Verband (Swiss Association of Physiotherapy)

Finanzplaner Fortbildung GbR
Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft mbH
Klinikum Region Hannover GmbH
Pallas Kliniken AG
Parental Drug Association