Prof. Dr. Roland Imhoff


Since 10/2015
Professor of Social and Legal Psychology (W2), Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
09/2012 – 09/2015
Juniorprofessor (W1) of Social Psychology: Social Cognition, Department of Psychology, University of Cologne
04/2010 – 08/2012
Research Assistant, Department for Social and Legal Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Bonn
10/2006 - 3/2010
Doctoral scholarship from the Evangelisches Studienwerk Villigst e.V. and Student Assistant, Department for Social and Legal Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Bonn
Diploma in Psychology

Research interests

  • Conspiracy mentality
  • Data-driven approaches for the content-related description of stereotypes
  • Prejudices, stigmatization, and labeling-effects
  • Representations of history and intergroup-relationships
  • Implicit social cognition
  • Automatic processes of sexual interest


Third-party funds

  • DFG material expenses grant “Sekundärer Antisemitismus – zugrundeliegende psychologische Prozesse” (Secondary antisemitism – underlying psychological processes) (IM 147/1-1) (€ 120,600)
  • German-Israeli Foundation research grant “Seventy Years Later: Historical Representations of the Holocaust and their effects on German-Israeli Relations” (I-1218- 358.4/2012) – (€165,000) – with Gilad Hirschberger and Katja Hanke
  • University zu Köln (University of Cologne) Advanced Postdoc Grant: “Content and application of fundamental stereotype dimensions” (€ 169,260)
  • DFG material expenses grant “Taking a Measure of Comparative Thinking” (IM 147/3-1) (€139,800) in the context of the research group “Relativity in Social Cognition: Antecedents and Consequences of Comparative Thinking” (FOR 2150) - with Ron Dotsch and Daniël Wigboldus



Journal articles (peer-reviewed)

Imhoff, R. (in press). Assessment of Evidential Value Requires More Than a Single Data Point [Commentary]. Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Imhoff, R., & Lamberty, P. (in press). A bioweapon or a hoax? The link between distinct conspiracy beliefs about the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and pandemic behavior. Social Psychological and Personality Science.[Preprint][Open materials and data]

Koch, A., Imhoff, R., Unkelbach, C., Nicolas, G., Fiske, S., Terache, J., Carrier, A., & Yzerbyt, V. (in press). Groups' warmth is a personal matter: Understanding consensus on stereotype dimensions reconciles adversarial models of social evaluation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.[Open materials and data]

Koch, A., Dorrough, A., Glöckner, A., & Imhoff, R. (in press). The ABC of society: Perceived similarity in agency/socioeconomic success and conservative-progressive beliefs increases intergroup cooperation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.[Open materials and data]

Barker, P., Dotsch, R., & Imhoff, R. (in press). Assimilation and contrast in Spontaneous Comparisons: Heterogeneous Effects of Standard Extremity in Facial evaluations. International Review of Social Psychology.[Open materials and data]

Imhoff, R., Dieterle, L., & Lamberty, P. (in press). Resolving the puzzle of conspiracy worldview and political activism: Belief in secret plots decreases normative but increases non-normative political engagement. Social Psychological and Personality Science.[Open materials and data]

Landy, J. F., Jia, M., Ding, I. L., Viganola, D., Tierney, W., … Imhoff, R., … Uhlmann, E. L. (in press). Crowdsourcing hypothesis tests: Making transparent how design choices shape research results. Psychological Bulletin.[Open materials and data]

Dang, J., Barker, P., Baumert, A., Bentvelzen, M., Berkman, E., Buchholz, N., …, Imhoff, R., …, Zinkernagel, A. (in press). A Multi-Lab Replication of the Ego Depletion Effect. Social and Personality Psychology Science.[Open materials and data]

Flade, F., Klar, Y., & Imhoff, R. (in press). Unite Against: A common threat invokes spontaneous decategorization between social categories. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.[Open materials and data]

Imhoff, R., & Zimmer, F. (2020). Men’s Reasons to Abstain from Masturbation May Not Reflect the Conviction of “reboot” Websites [Letter to the editor]. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 491429-1430.

Zimmer, F., & Imhoff, R. (2020). Abstinence from Masturbation and Hypersexuality. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 491333-1343.

Marhenke, T., & Imhoff, R. (2020). Increased accessibility of semantic concepts after (more or less) subtle activation of related concepts: support for the basic tenet of priming research. Journal of General Psychology, 147, 186-211.[Open materials and data]

Imhoff, R., Barker, P., & Schmidt, A. F. (2020). To what extent do erotic images elicit visuospatial vs. cognitive attentional processes? Consistent support for a (non-spatial) Sexual Content Induced Delay. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49, 531-550. [Open materials and data]

Lamberty, P. & Imhoff, R. (2019). From sperm to fatherhood - an experimental approach to determinants of paternal responsibility. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 48, 2217-2228. [Open materials and data]

Bartels, R. M., Lister, V. P. M., Imhoff, R., & Banse, R. (2019). Tracking mouse trajectories related to decisions about sexual interest. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 48, 1387–1401.

Petrowski, K., Schmalbach, B, Schurig, S., Imhoff, R., Banse, R., Strauss, B. (2019). Implicit Attachment Schemas and Therapy Outcome for Panic Disorder Treated with Manualized Confrontation Therapy. Psychopathology, 52, 184-190.

Marhenke, T., & Imhoff, R. (2019). Does Bem´s Psychological Androgyny map on gender or sex differences in faces?. Psychology, Society, & Education, 11, 99-112.

Petrowski, K., Schurig, S., Kirchmann, H., Singh, S., Banse, R., Imhoff, R., & Strauss, B. (2019). Incongruence between implicit attachment schemes and unconscious attachment representations. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 207, 423-428.

Imhoff, R., & Messer, M. (2019). In search of experimental evidence for secondary antisemitism - A file drawer report. Meta-Psychology, 3, MP.2018.880.[Open materials and data]

Klein, V., Imhoff, R., Reiniger, K. M., & Briken, P. (2019). Perceptions of Sexual Script Deviation in Women and Men. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 48, 631-644.

Imhoff, R., Lange, J., & Germar, M. (2019). Identification and location tasks rely on different mental processes: A diffusion model account of validity effects in spatial cueing paradigms with emotional stimuli. Cognition and Emotion, 33, 231-244. [Open materials and data]

Koch, A. S., Kervyn, N., Kervyn, M., & Imhoff, R. (2018). Studying the cognitive map of the U.S. states: Ideology and prosperity stereotypes predict interstate prejudice. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 9, 530-538. [Open materials and data]

Imhoff, R., & Jahnke, S. (2018). Determinants of Punitive Attitudes Toward People with Pedophilia: Dissecting Effects of the Label and Intentionality Ascriptions. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 47, 353-361. [Open materials and data]

Imhoff, R. & Lamberty, P. (2017). Too special to be duped: Need for uniqueness motivates conspiracy beliefs. European Journal of Social Psychology, 47, 724-734.

Imhoff, R., Bilewicz, M., Hanke, K., Kahn, D. T., Henkel-Guembel, N., Halabi, S., Shani-Sherman, T., & Hirschberger, G. (in press). Explaining the inexplicable: Differences in attributions to the Holocaust in Germany, Israel and Poland. Political Psychology.

Bilewicz, M., Witkowska, M., Stefaniak, A., & Imhoff, R. (2017). The lay historian explains intergroup behavior: Identification and epistemic abilities as correlates of ethnocentric historical attributions. Memory Studies, 10, 310-322.

Imhoff, R., Banse, R., & Schmidt, A. F. S. (2017). Toward a Theoretical Understanding of Sexual Orientation and Sexual Motivation. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46, 29-33.

Imhoff, R. & Koch, A. (2017). How orthogonal are the Big Two of social perception? On the curvilinear relation between agency and communion. Perspectives in Psychological Science, 12, 122-137.

Koch, A.*, Imhoff, R.*, Dotsch, R., Unkelbach, C., & Alves, H. (2016). The ABC of stereotypes about groups: Agency / socio-economic success, conservative-progressive Beliefs, and Communion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110, 675–709.
* geteilte Erstautorenschaft

Imhoff, R. (2016). Zeroing in on the effect of the schizophrenia label on stigmatizing attitudes: A large scale study. Schizophrenia Bulletin,42, 456-463.

Lammers, J., & Imhoff, R. (2016). Power and sadomasochism: Understanding the antecedents of a knotty relationship. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 7, 142-148.

Bergen, E., Ahto, A., Schulz, A., Imhoff, R., Antfolk, J., Schuhmann, P., Alanko, K., Santtila, P., & Jern, P. (2015). Adult-adult and adult-child/adolescent online sexual interactions: An exploratory self-report study on the role of situational factors. Journal of Sex Research, 52, 1006-1016.

Schmidt, A. F., Zimmermann, P. S., Banse, R., & Imhoff, R. (2015). Ego depletion moderates the influence of automatic and controlled precursors of reactive aggression: A double dissociation. Social Psychology, 46, 132-141.

Heser, K., Imhoff, R., & Banse, R. (2015). Affiliation or power: What motivates behavior on social networking sites? Swiss Journal of Psychology, 74, 37-47.

Imhoff, R. (2015). Punitive attitudes against pedophiles or persons with sexual interest in children: Does the label matter? Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44, 35-44.

Jahnke, S., Imhoff, R., & Hoyer, J. (2015). Stigmatization of people with pedophilia: Two comparative surveys. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 44, 21-34.

Imhoff, R., Schmidt, A. F., & Gerstenberg, F. (2014). Exploring the Interplay of Trait Self-Control and Ego Depletion: Empirical Evidence for Ironic Effects. European Journal of Personality, 28, 413-424.

Imhoff, R., & Bruder, M. (2014). Speaking (Un-)Truth to Power: Conspiracy Mentality as a Generalized Political Attitude. European Journal of Personality, 28, 25-43.

Larue, D., Schmidt, A. F., Imhoff, R., Eggers, K., Schönbrodt, F. D., & Banse, R. (2014). Validation of direct and indirect measures of preference for sexual violence. Psychological Assessment, 26, 1173-1183.

Imhoff, R., & Schmidt, A. F. (2014). Sexual disinhibition under sexual arousal: Evidence for domain specificity in men and women. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 43, 1123-1136.

Imhoff, R., & Dotsch, R. (2013). Do we look like me or like us? Visual projection as self- or ingroup-projection. Social Cognition, 31, 806-816.

Gerstenberg, F. X. R., Imhoff, R., Banse, R., & Schmitt, M. (2014). Discrepancies between implicit and explicit self-concepts of intelligence: relations to modesty, narcissism, and achievement motivation. Frontiers in Psychology, 5:85.

Imhoff, R., Woelki, J., Hanke, S., & Dotsch, R. (2013). Warmth and competence in your face! Visual encoding of stereotype content. Frontiers in Psychology, 4:386.

Imhoff, R., Bergmann, X., Banse, R., & Schmidt, A. F. (2013). Exploring the Automatic Undercurrents of Sexual Narcissism: Individual Differences in the Sex-Aggression-Link. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 42, 1033-1041.

Gerstenberg, F., Imhoff, R., Banse, R., Altstötter-Gleich, C., Zinkernagel, A., & Schmitt, M. (2013). How Implicit-Explicit Consistency of the Intelligence Self-Concept Moderates Reactions to Performance Feedback. European Journal of Personality, 27, 238-255.

Bruder, M., Haffke, P., Neave, N., Nouripanah, N., & Imhoff, R. (2013). Measuring individual differences in generic beliefs in conspiracy theories across cultures: conspiracy mentality questionnaire. Frontiers in Psychology, 4:225.

Imhoff, R., Wohl, M., Erb, H.-P. (2013). When the past is far from dead: How ongoing consequences of genocides committed by the ingroup impact collective guilt. Journal of Social Issues, 69, 74-91.

Banse, R., Imhoff, R., Steffens, M., Schramm, N., Rösch, A., Robert, M., & Stangier, U. (2013). Partner-AMP and well-being: Evidence for an implicit secure base script? Personal Relationships, 20, 140-154.

Gerstenberg, F. X. R., Imhoff, R., & Schmitt, M. (2012). "Women are bad at math, but I’m not, am I?” Narcissistic Mathematical Self-Concept Predicts Vulnerability to Stereotype Threat Effect on Mathematical Performance. European Journal of Personality, 26, 588-599.

Imhoff, R., & Recker, J. (2012). Differentiating Islamophobia: Introducing a new scale to measure Islamoprejudice and Secular Islam Critique. Political Psychology, 33, 811-824.

Imhoff, R., Schmidt, A. F., Weiß, S., Young, A. W., & Banse, R. (2012). Vicarious Viewing Time: Prolonged response latencies for sexually attractive targets as a function of task- or stimulus-specific processing. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41, 1389-1401.

Imhoff, R., Bilewicz, M., & Erb, H.-P. (2012). Collective Guilt versus Collective Regret. Different emotional reactions to ingroup atrocities. European Journal for Social Psychology, 42, 729-742.

Blaison, C., Imhoff, R., Hess, U., & Banse, R. (2012). The affect misattribution procedure: Hot or not? Emotion, 12, 403-412.

Dislich, F. X. R., Imhoff, R., Banse, R., Altstötter-Gleich, C., Zinkernagel, A., & Schmitt, M. (2012). Am I smart or not? Discrepancies between the implicit and the explicit self-concept of intelligence predict IQ test performance. European Journal of Personality, 26, 212-220.

Imhoff, R.*, Dotsch, R.*, Bianchi, M., Banse, R., & Wigboldus, D. (2011). Facing Europe: Visualizing spontaneous ingroup projection. Psychological Science, 22, 1583-1590.
* geteilte Erstautorenschaft

Imhoff, R., & Banse, R. (2011). Implicit and explicit attitudes towards ex-partners differentially predict breakup adjustment. Personal Relationships, 18, 427-438.

Imhoff, R., Schmidt, A. F., Bernhardt, J., Dierksmeier, A., & Banse, R. (2011). An inkblot for sexual preference: A semantic variant of the Affect Misattribution Procedure. Cognition and Emotion, 25, 676-690.

Bilewicz, M.*, Imhoff, R.*, & Drogosz, M. (2011). The humanity of what we eat. Conceptions of human uniqueness among vegetarians and omnivores. European Journal of Social Psychology, 41, 201-209.
* geteilte Erstautorenschaft

Imhoff, R., Schmidt, A. F., Nordsiek, U., Luzar, C., Young, A. W. & Banse, R. (2010). Viewing Time revisited: Prolonged response latencies for sexually attractive targets under restricted conditions. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 39, 1275-1288.

Imhoff, R. (2010). Zwei Formen des modernen Antisemitismus? Eine Skala zur Messung primären und sekundären Antisemitismus [Two forms of modern anti-Semitism? A scale for the measurement of primary and secondary ant-Semitism]. Conflict and Communication Online, 9.

Imhoff, R., & Banse, R. (2009) Ongoing victim suffering increases prejudice: The case of secondary antisemitism. Psychological Science, 20, 1443-1447.

Imhoff, R., & Erb, H.-P. (2009). What motivates nonconformity? Uniqueness Seeking blocks Majority Influence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 309-320.


Book contributions

Bilewicz, M., Witkowska, M., Stubig, S., Beneda, M., & Imhoff, R. (2017). How to educate about the Holocaust? Psychological obstacles in historical education in Poland and Germany. In C. Psaltis, M. Carretero & S. Cehajic-Clancy (Eds.) History teaching and conflict transformation: Social psychological theories, history teaching and reconciliation (pp. 169-197). London: Palgrave.

Banse, R., Schmidt, A. F., & Imhoff, R. (2016). Aggression from the perspective of the Reflective-Impulsive Model: Testing predictions using indirect measures. In R. Deutsch, B. Gawronski, & W. Hoffmann (Eds.). Reflective and impulsive determinants of human behavior (pp. 239-256). New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Imhoff, R. (2015). Beyond (right-wing) authoritarianism: Conspiracy mentality as an incremental predictor of prejudice. In. M. Bilewicz, A. Cichocka, & W. Soral (Eds.) The Psychology of Conspiracy (pp. 122-141).London: Routledge.

Schmidt, A. F., Banse, R., & Imhoff, R. (2015). Indirect measures in forensic contexts. In F. J. R. van de Vijver & T. Ortner (Eds.), Behavior Based Assessment in Personality, Social, and Applied Psychology (pp. 173-194). Göttingen: Hogrefe.

Imhoff, R. (2013). Fragebogen zur Erfassung von Verschwörungsmentalität – Kurzform. In C. J. Kemper, E. Brähler, & M. Zenger (Hrsg.), Psychologische und sozialwissenschaftliche Kurzskalen (pp. 334-336). Berlin: Medizinisch Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft.

Imhoff, R. (2013). Skala zur Erfassung von Vorurteilen gegenüber dem Islam und säkularer Kritik am Islam - Kurzform. In C. J. Kemper, E. Brähler, & M. Zenger (Hrsg.), Psychologische und sozialwissenschaftliche Kurzskalen (pp. 279-282). Berlin: Medizinisch Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft.

Imhoff, R. (2013). Skala zur Messung von primärem und sekundärem Antisemitismus – Kurzform. In C. J. Kemper, E. Brähler, & M. Zenger (Hrsg.), Psychologische und sozialwissenschaftliche Kurzskalen (pp. 220-223). Berlin: Medizinisch Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft.

Banse, R., & Imhoff, R. (2013). Implicit cognition and relationship processes. In J. A. Simpson and L. Campbell (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Close Relationships (pp. 475-499). Oxford University Press.

Imhoff, R., & Decker, O. (2013). Verschwörungsmentalität als Weltbild. In: O. Decker, J. Kiess & E. Brähler (Hrsg.), Rechtsextremismus der Mitte (S. 130-145). Wiesbaden: Psychosozial Verlag.

Imhoff, R. (2009). Holocaust at the table - Experiences from seven years of "German-Israeli Exchange". In C. Misselwitz, & C. Siebeck (Eds.) Dissonant Memories - Fragmented Present. Exchanging young discourses between Israel and Germany (pp. 35-43). Bielefeld: transcript.



Imhoff, R. (2010). The Dynamics of Collective Guilt Three Generations after the Holocaust: Young Germans' Emotional Experiences in Response to the Nazi Past. Hamburg: Kovac.

Imhoff, R. (2006). Attraktivität von Minderheitenmeinungen. Saarbrücken: VDM.