Prof. Dr. Stefan Stürmer

Prof. Dr. Stefan Stürmer

Tel: +49 2331 987 - 2776
Fax: +49 2331 987 - 4730
Sprechzeiten: nach Vereinbarung

Akademischer Lebenslauf



My research interests on respect, helping, cooperation and socio-political participation in the context of communities and groups, as well as my professional activities as a consultant for various city councils and community agencies are well linked to the FernUniversität mission to create equal opportunities for culturally and socio-demographically diverse students. In my research, I strive to build bridges between different research traditions in personality, social and community psychology not only to advance scientific understanding, but also to produce practically applicable knowledge to address social issues and challenges in various fields (e.g., volunteer organizations, educational institutions, local neighborhoods or politics). Over the years, I have also been involved in a multi-year, multi-disciplinary project to design theoretically derived virtual teaching and learning environments to foster the inclusion of diverse student groups in higher distance education. Research projects Research projects

Much of my research is conducted within the Research Center for the Psychological Study of Individual and Community Change (PSINCC), a research center at the FernUniversität dedicated to understanding how individuals and communities manage social, demographic and/or cultural change. Among the questions being addressed by the social psychology unit are: What are the psychological and social processes that prompt people to deliberately and actively seek out cross-cultural contact? When and why do they help members of other cultural groups? What are the consequences of such action for individuals and for society? Research relevant to these concerns has often both a theoretical and an applied focus, and is being conducted with investigative strategies combining both experimental and field research designs.


· Xenophilia
· Helping and Altruism Within and Across Group Boundaries
· Diversity in Higher Distance Education
· Psychology and Law

Educational Background

  • Junior Professor of Applied Social Psychology, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, 2002-2007,
  • Post-doctoral research fellow: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 2001-2002
  • Ph.D.: Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, Germany, 2000
  • Diploma in Psychology: Universität Leipzig, 1997

Selected Publications by Topic


Stürmer, S., & Benbow, A. F. (2017). Psychological foundations of xenophilia: Understanding and measuring the motivational functions of exploratory cross-cultural contact. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Advanced online publication.

Barbarino, M.-L., & Stürmer, S. (2016). Different origins of xenophile and xenophobic tendencies in human personality structure: A theoretical perspective and some preliminary findings. Journal of Social Issues. 72, 432-449.

Siem, B., Stürmer, S. & Pittinsky, T. (Guest Editors) (2016). Proactive behavior across group boundaries. Special issue: Journal of Social Issues. Oxford.: Wiley-Blackwell.

Stürmer, S., Benbow, A. E. F., Siem, B., Barth, M., Bodansky, A. N., & Lotz-Schmitt, K. (2013). Psychological foundations of xenophilia: The role of major personality traits in predicting favorable attitudes towards cross-cultural contact and exploration. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105, 832-851.

Helping and Altruism Within and Across Group Boundaries

Siem, B., Mehnert, L., Stürmer, S., & Rohmann, A. (in press). The impact of client-counselor similarity on acceptance of counseling services for women living with HIV. Aids Care.

Stürmer, S., & Siem, B. (2017). A group-level theory of helping and altruism within and across group-boundaries. In E. Van Leeuwen, & H. Zagefka (Eds.), The social psychology of intergroup helping (pp. 103-127). Cham: Springer.

Lotz-Schmitt, K., Siem, B., & Stürmer, S. (2017). Empathy as a motivator of dyadic helping across group boundaries. The dis-inhibiting effect of the recipient’s perceived benevolence. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 20, 233-259.

Barth, M. & Stürmer, S. (2016). Past collective wrong-doings of the ingroup: Comparing the effects of individual and group-level perspective taking on psychological reactions towards the outgroup. Social Psychology, 47, 311-326.

Stürmer, S., Rohmann, A., & van der Noll, J. (2016). Mobilizing the global community to combat Ebola: Psychological Effects of the Band Aid 30 Campaign. The Journal of Social Psychology, 156, 291-304.

Siem, B., Lotz-Schmitt, K. & Stürmer, S. (2014). To help or not to help an out-group member: The role of target’s individual attributes in resolving potential helpers’ motivational conflict. European Journal of Social Psychology, 44, 297-312.

Siem, B., & Stürmer, S. (2012). Meeting recipients’ needs in dyadic cross-group helping: When the nature of the helper’s motivation matters. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 15, 762-775.

Siem, B., & Stürmer, S. (2012). Cross-cultural volunteerism: Examining the effects of intercultural (dis)similarities on volunteers’ motivations to support international students. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 34, 544-557. [Honorable Mention SPSSI Otto-Kleinberg Best Paper Award 2013]

Stürmer, S., & Snyder, M. (Eds.) (2010). The psychology of prosocial behavior: Group processes, intergroup relations, and helping. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Stürmer, S., & Snyder, M. (2010). The psychological study of group processes and intergroup relations in prosocial behavior: Past, present, future. In S. Stürmer & M. Snyder (Eds.), The psychology of prosocial behavior: Group processes, intergroup relations, and helping (pp. 3-10). Oxford: Wiley & Blackwell.

Stürmer, S., Snyder, M., Kropp, A., & Siem, B. (2006). Empathy-motivated helping: The moderating role of group membership. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32, 943-956.

Stürmer, S., Snyder, M., & Omoto, A. M. (2005). Prosocial emotions: The moderating role of group membership. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 532-546.

Simon, B., Stürmer, S., & Steffens, K. (2000). Helping individuals or group members? The role of individual and collective identification in AIDS volunteerism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26, 497-506.

Socio-Political Participation, Group-Serving Behavior and Policy Support

Stürmer, S., Rohmann, A., Mazziotta, A., Siem, B., & Barbarino, M. (2017). Fear of infection or justification of social exclusion? The symbolic exploitation of the Ebola epidemic. Political Psychology, 38, 499-513.

Stürmer, S., & Siem, B. (2012). Civil society responses to the HIV/AIDS crisis: The role of social representations in shaping collective and individual actions. In K. Jonas & T. Morton (Eds.), Restoring civil societies: The psychology of intervention and engagement following crisis (pp. 237-249). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Stürmer, S. (2011). Soziale Repräsentationen von Bürgerprotesten: Der Wutbürger – soziale Realität, Feuilleton-Chimäre oder politischer Kampfbegriff? Zeitschrift für Politische Psychologie, 9-18.

Stürmer, S., Simon, B., & Loewy, M. (2008). Intraorganizational respect and organizational participation: The mediating role of collective identity. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 11, 5-20.

Stürmer, S., & Simon, B. (2009). Pathways to collective protest: Calculation, identification or emotion? A critical analysis of the role of anger in social movement participation. Journal of Social Issues, 65, 681–705.

Simon, B., Lücken, M., & Stürmer, S. (2006). The added value of respect: Reaching across inequality. British Journal of Social Psychology, 45, 535-546.

Simon, B., & Stürmer, S. (2005). In search of the active ingredients of respect: A closer look at the role of acceptance. European Journal of Social Psychology, 35, 809-818.

Stürmer, S., & Simon, B. (2004). Collective action: Towards a dual-pathway model. In W. Stroebe & M. Hewstone (Eds.), European Review of Social Psychology (Vol. 15, pp. 59-99). Hove, UK: Psychology Press.

Stürmer, S., & Simon, B. (2004). The role of collective identification in social movement participation: A panel study in the context of the German gay movement. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 263-277.

Simon, B., & Stürmer, S. (2003). Respect for group members: Intragroup determinants of collective identification and group-serving behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 183-193.

Stürmer, S., & Kampmeier, C. (2003). Active citizenship: The role of community identification in community volunteerism and local participation. Psychologica Belgica (Special Issue: Social Identity and Citizenship), 43, 103-122.

Stürmer, S., Simon, B., Loewy, M., & Jörger, H. (2003). The dual-pathway model of social movement participation: The case of the fat acceptance movement. Social Psychology Quarterly, 66, 71-82.

Stürmer, S., & Simon, B. (2000). Mobilisierung schwuler Männer: Teilnahmemotivation im Kontext der deutschen Schwulenbewegung. Forschungsjournal neue soziale Bewegungen, 4, 40-51.

Simon, B., Loewy, M., Stürmer, S., Weber, U., Freytag, P., Habig, C., Kampmeier, C., & Spahlinger, P. (1998). Collective identification and social movement participation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 646-658.

Diversity in Higher Distance Educatio

Ihme, A. & Stürmer, S. (prov. accepted). Emphasizing excellence and diversity cues on university websites. Additive or interactive effects on prospective students’ psychological reactions? Journal of Applied Social Psychology.

Ihme, T. A., Sonnenberg, K., Barbarino, M.-L., Fisseler, B., & Stürmer, S. (2016). How university websites’ emphasis on age diversity influences prospective students’ perception of person-organization fit and students recruitment. Research in Higher Education, 57, 1010-1030.

Zinke, N., Stürmer, S., & Froehlich, L. (2016). Validierung einer deutschsprachigen Skala zur multidimensionalen Erfassung von interkulturellen Kompetenzen in der universitären Ausbildung. In M. Krämer, S. Preiser, & K. Brusdeylins (Eds). Tagungsband Psychologiedidaktik und Evaluation XI, 349-358. Herzogenrath: Shaker.

Stoessel, K., Ihme, T. A., Barbarino, M.-L., Fisseler, B., & Stürmer, S. (2015). Sociodemographic diversity and distance education: Who drops out from academic programs and why? Research in Higher Education, 56, 228-246.

Psychology and Law

Benbow, A. F., & Stürmer, S. (2017). Stereotype-based judgments of child welfare issues in cases of parent criminality. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 47, 267-281.

Salewski, C., Stürmer, S., Meyer, J. & Meyer, A.-K. (2016). Qualität familienrechtspsychologischer Gutachten: Eine empirische Analyse mit Praxiskommentaren (Beiträge zur Angewandten Psychologie, Band 1, Herausgeberin A. Rohmann). Frankfurt: Peter Lang Verlag.

Stürmer, S., Salewski, C., Meyer, A.-K., & Meyer, J. (2015). Methodische Qualität und Bindungsdiagnostik im Kontext familienrechtspsychologischer Gutachten. Kindesmisshandlung und –vernachlässigung, 18, 26-43.

Stürmer, S., & Salewski, C. (2015). Qualität familienrechtspsychologischer Gutachten. Erwiderung auf Fichtner (2015). Kindschaftsrecht und Jugendhilfe, 4, 132-134.

Salewski, C., & Stürmer, S. (2015). Qualität familienrechtspsychologischer Gutachten. Eine aktuelle empirische Studie. Kindschaftsrecht und Jugendhilfe, 1, 4-9.

Stürmer, S., & Salewski, C. (2014). Studie: Viele Fehler in Gutachten. Deutsche Richterzeitung, 09/2014, 282-283.

Open Sience

Stürmer, S., Oeberst, A., Trötschel, R. & Decker, O. (in press). Early-career researchers’ perceptions of the prevalence of questionable research practices, potential causes and open science. Social Psychology.

Ko-Autor der Stellungnahme der Fachgruppe Sozialpsychologie  der DGPs zur Thematik: „Qualität, Replizierbarkeit und Transparenz sozialpsychologischer Forschung“  Link

Professional Activities

  • Sprecher Fachgruppe Sozialpsychologie in der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie, 2015 - present
  • Ethikkommission: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie, 2013 - present
  • International Conference Committee: Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI), 2006 - present
  • Editor: Beiträge zur angewandten Psychologie, 2012 - present
  • Ad-hoc reviewer: British Journal of Social Psychology, European Journal of Social Psychology, European Journal of Personality, Intergroup Relations and Group Processes, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Political Psychology, Psychological Bulletin, Science u.a.