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., Ellermann, C., Jenny, M. A., Siegel, N. A., Spinner, C., & Wagner, G. G. (2022). Fact boxes that inform individual decisions may contribute to a more positive evaluation of COVID-19 vaccinations at the population level. PLOS ONE. 17(9), e0274186. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0274186.

Rebitschek, F. G., Gigerenzer, G., & Wagner, G. (2021). People underestimate the errors made by algorithms for credit scoring and recidivism prediction but accept even fewer errors. Nature Scientific Reports. 11: 20171. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-99802-y.

Rebitschek, F. G., Gigerenzer, G., Keitel, A., Sommer, S., Groß, C., & Wagner, G. G. (2021). Acceptance of criteria for health and driver scoring in the general public in Germany. PLOS ONE. 16(4): e0250224. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0250224.

Rebitschek, F.G. (2021). Informiert mit Scoring-Systemen auseinandersetzen. In H. Gapski, & S. Packard (Ed.), Super-Scoring? Datengetriebene Sozialtechnologien als neue Bildungsherausforderung, Band 6 in der „Schriftenreihe zur digitalen Gesellschaft NRW“ im kopaed Verlag, Düsseldorf, München.

Rebitschek, F. G., & Wagner, G. G. (2020). Zur Akzeptanz von assistiven Robotern im Pflege- und Gesundheitsbereich: Repräsentative Daten zeichnen ein klares Bild für Deutschland [Acceptance of assistive robots in the field of nursing and healthcare : Representative data show a clear picture for Germany]. Zeitschrift für Gerontologie und Geriatrie, 53, 637–643. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00391-020-01780-9.

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)

Rebitschek, F.G. (2022, October). The great uncertainty - risk literacy in pandemic times. rbb Inforadio

Rebischek, F.G. (2022, January). Partying hard thanks to strict control. Deutschlandfunk Kultur

Rebitschek, F.G. (2022, January). Project Culture in spite of Corona. rbb Radioeins.

Rebitschek, F.G. (2022). Keynote „Informed COVID-19 vaccination decisions and vaccination preferences of the society“. Congress of the German Society for Behavioural Medicine and Modification 2022. Salzburg/Online.

Rebitschek, F.G. (2022). Invited talk at the University of Heidelberg for the symposium „Knowledge and Technology“. Heidelberg.

Rebitschek, F.G. (2022). Invited talk “Pandemic risk communication“ at Riga Stradiņš University International Covid-19 Conference. Online.

Rebitschek, F.G. (2021, September). Vaccine communication, Press Briefing with the Science Media Center Germany.

Rebitschek, F.G. (2021). Keynote "Evidence based risk communication in times of crisis". 59th DHS Specialist Conference ADDICTION (DHS).

Rebitschek, F.G. (2020). Keynote "Risk competency despite a lack of data". Austrian Symposium on Health Psychology. Wien/Online.

Rebitschek, F.G. (2019, October). Invited talk „Being scored but informed – how to boost people‘s risk literacy for public discourse“. Interdisciplinary conference „Superscoring“. Köln, Deutschland.

Gigerenzer, G., & Rebitschek, F.G. (2018, May). Thinking helps your health. Taz.

Rebitschek, F.G. (2018). Critically questioning algorithms: Guest commentary. SV Aktuell: Information from the health sector / AOK Baden-Württemberg, (5), 5.

Rebitschek, F.G. (2018). Keynote „Beyond risk literacy – Empowering for problems of uncertainty“. South American Business Forum. Buenos Aires, Argentinien.

Rebitschek, F.G. (2016, July). Keynote „homo heuristicus“. 14th Annual Conference of the German Hernia Society. Würzburg, Deutschland.



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)

GWQ Service for statutory health insurers
Contract research
50,000 € (2020)

Helsana AG
Fact Box Evaluation Study
53,000 € (2018)

German Research Foundation
Strenthening the vaccination decision of the population through effective online communication
260,300 € (2021)

Brandenburg Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Energy
Study on Safety & Acceptance of Highly Access Restricted Events
22,212 € (2021)

German Research Foundation
Strenthening the vaccination decision of the population through effective online communication
260,300 € (2021)

Federal Financial Supervisory Authority
Contract research
36,953 € (2021)

Ministry of Science, Research and Culture Brandenburg
Determine infection risks at indoor cultural events
21,787 € (2021)

Gerrman Research Foundation
What can we learn about measuring and training risk literacy? Evidence in finance, medicine and digital decision-making in India
14,378 € (2021)

Ergo Group AG
Risk report 2022
14,072 € (2021)

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