Heinz Gutscher, Prof. em. Dr. phil.



Function:   Professor em. of Social Psychology
Since:   August 2012
Address:   University of Zurich
Department of Psychology
Binzmuehlestrasse 14 / 1
8050 Zurich
E-Mail:   heinz.gutscher@uzh.ch
LinkedIn:   https://www.linkedin.com/in/heinz-gutscher-phd-39b55573


Habilitation (Post-doctoral degree) 1990, UZH – Educational sojourns at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor [ISR & Inter-University-Consortium for Political and Social Research] and at the University of Essex, Colchester – Doctorate, Dr. phil., UZH, 1975

Professional Experience

  • Full Professor of Social Psychology, Department of Psychology, UZH, 1990-2012
  • Director of SFS (Sozialforschungsstelle der Universität Zürich, University of Zurich Social Research Unit), 1990–2011
  • Director of various interdisciplinary research projects

Research Area

Social Psychology

Specific Interests

Form, functions and mechanisms of social influence processes, trust and confidence, social psychological aspects of sustainability issues, risk perception and risk communication, change management, planning and evaluation of large-scale social interventions / campaigns, application of social psychological know-how in the fields of energy, mobility, consumption and acceptance of new technologies


Publications (Selection)


  • Siegrist, M., Earle, T.C. & Gutscher, H. (Eds.)(2007). Trust in Cooperative Risk Management. Uncertainty and Scepticism in the Public Mind. London: Earthscan.

  • Kaufmann, R. & Gutscher, H. (Eds.)(2001), Changing things - moving people: Strategies for promoting sustainable development at the local level. Basel: Birkhäuser.

Articles in Refereed Journals

  • Kaiser, F.G., Brügger, A., Hartig, T., Bogner, F.X., Gutscher, H. (2014). Appreciation of nature and appreciation of environmental protection: How stable are these attitudes and which comes first? Revue européenne de psychologie appliquée 64, 269-277.

  • Walter, G. & Gutscher, H., 2013. Generelle Befürwortung von Windkraftanlagen vor Ort vs. Befürwortung spezifischer Windkraftprojekte: Der Einfluss von Projekt- und Verfahrensparametern. Umweltpsychologie 17 (2), 124-144.

  • Huang, L., Han Y., Zhou, Y., Gutscher, H., Bi, J. (2013) How Do the Chinese Perceive Ecological Risk in Freshwater Lakes? PLoS ONE, 8(5): e62486.

  • Visschers, V.H.M, Wiedemann, P.M., Gutscher, H. Kurzenhäuser, S., Seidl, R., Jardine, C.G. & Timmermanns, D.R.M. (2012). Affect-inducing risk communication: Current knowledge and future directions. Journal of Risk Research, 15(3), 257–271.

  • Rogers, D. S., Duraiappah, A. K., Antons, D. C., Munoz, P., Bai, X., Fragkias, M. & Gutscher, H. (2012). A vision for human well-being: transition to social sustainability. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 4(1), 61–73.

  • Degenhardt, B., Frick, J., Buchecker, M. & Gutscher, H. (2011): Influences of Personal, Social, and Environmental Factors on Workday Use Frequency of the Nearby Outdoor Recreation Areas by Working People. Leisure Sciences, 33(5), 420–440.

  • Keller, C., Siegrist, M., Earle, T. C. & Gutscher, H. (2011). The General Confidence Scale: Coping With Environmental Uncertainty and Threat. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41(9), 2200–2229.

  • Martens, M., Gutscher, H. & Bauer, N.(2011). Walking in "wild" and "tended" urban forests. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 31(1), 36–44.

  • Peters, A., Gutscher, H. & Scholz, R.W. (2011). Psychological determinants of fuel consumption of purchased new cars. Transportation Research, 14F(3), 229–239.

  • Siegrist, M. & Gutscher, H. (2008). Natural Hazards and Motivation for Mitigation Behavior: People Cannot Predict the Affect Evoked by a Severe Flood. Risk Analysis, 28(3), 771–778.

  • Keller, C., Siegrist, M. & Gutscher, H. (2006). The role of the affect and availability heuristics in risk communication. Risk Analysis, 26, 631–639.

  • Siegrist, M. & Gutscher, H. (2006). Flooding risks: A comparison of lay people’s perceptions and expert’s assessments in Switzerland. Risk Analysis, 26, 971–979.

  • Siegrist, M., Earle, T. C., Gutscher, H., & Keller, C. (2005). Perception of Mobile Phone and Base Station Risks. Risk Analysis, 25, 1253–1264.

  • Siegrist, M., Gutscher, H., & Earle, T. C (2005). Perception of risk: The influence of general trust, and general confidence. Journal of Risk Research, 8, 145–156.

  • Mosler, H.-J. & Gutscher, H. (2004). Die Förderung von Energiesparverhalten durch Kombination von instruierter Selbstverbreitung mit Interventionsinstrumenten. Umweltpsychologie, 8(1), 50–65.

  • Siegrist, M., Earle, T. C. & Gutscher, H. (2003). Test of a trust and confidence model in the applied context of electromagnetic field (EMF) risks. Risk Analysis, 23(4), 705–716.

  • Kaiser, F. G., & Gutscher, H. (2003). The proposition of a general version of the theory of planned behavior: Predicting ecological behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33(3), 586–603.

  • Siegrist, M., Cvetkovich, G. & Gutscher, H. (2002). Risk preference predictions and gender stereotypes. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 87, 91–102.

  • Siegrist, M., Cvetkovich, G. T. & Gutscher, H. (2001). Shared values, social trust and the perception of geographic cancer clusters. Risk Analysis, 21, 1047–1053.

  • Mosler, H.-J., Schwarz, K., Ammann, F. & Gutscher, H. (2001). Computer simulation as a method of further developing a theory: simulating the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM). Personality and Social Psychology Review, 5(3), 201–215.

  • Mosler, H.-J., Gutscher, H. & Artho, J. (2001). Wie können viele Personen für eine kommunale Umweltaktion gewonnen werden? Umweltpsychologie, 5 (2), 122–140.

  • Mosler, H.-J. & Gutscher, H. (1998). Umweltpsychologische Interventionsformen für die Praxis. Umweltpsychologie 2 (2), 64–79.

  • Mosler, H.-J. , Ammann, F. & Gutscher, H. (1998). Simulation des Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) als Mittel zur Entwicklung und Analyse von Umweltinterventionen. Zeitschrift für Sozialpsychologie, 29, 20–37.

  • Mosler, H.-J. & Gutscher, H. (1996). Kooperation durch Selbstverpflichtung im Allmende-Dilemma.  In: Diekmann, A. & Jaeger, C.C. (Hrsg.). Umweltsoziologie. Sonderheft 36/96, Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 308–323.

Articles in Books

  • Kaufmann-Hayoz, R. & Gutscher, H. (2001). Transformation toward sustainability: An interdisciplinary, actor-riented perspective. In R. Kaufmann-Hayoz & H. Gutscher (Eds.), Changing things - moving people: Strategies for promoting sustainable development at the local level (pp. 19–25). Basel: Birkhäuser.

  • Kaufmann-Hayoz, R., Bättig, C. S. B., Defila, R., Di Giulio, A., Flury-Kleubler, P., Friederich, U., Garbely, M., Gutscher, H., Jäggi, C., Jegen, M., Mosler, H.-J., Müller, A., North, N., Ulli-Beer, S. & Wichtermann, J. (2001). A typology of tools for building sustainability strategies. In R. Kaufmann-Hayoz & H. Gutscher (Eds.), Changing things - moving people: Strategies for promoting sustainable development at the local level (pp. 33–107). Basel: Birkhäuser.

  • Kaufmann-Hayoz, R., Ulli-Beer, S., Garbely, M. & Gutscher, H. (2001). Suggestions for designing policy strategies for sustainable development. In R. Kaufmann-Hayoz & H. Gutscher (Eds.), Changing things - moving people: Strategies for promoting sustainable development at the local level (pp. 325–335). Basel: Birkhäuser.

  • Kaufmann, R. & Gutscher, H. (2000). Instruments for sustainable development: Results and conclusions of a transdisciplinary project. In R. Häberli, R. W. Scholz, A. Bill & M. Welti (Eds.), Transdisciplinarity: Joint problem-solving among science, technology and society (pp. 311–315). Zürich: Haffmanns Sachbuch Verlag.

  • Mosler,H.-J. & Gutscher, H. (1999). Wege zur Deblockierung kollektiven Umweltverhaltens. In: Linneweber, V. & Kals, E. (Hrsg.).Umweltgerechtes Handeln. Barrieren und Brücken (pp. 141–164). Berlin: Springer.


  • Duraiappah, A. K, Scherkenbach, C., Munoz, P., Bai, X., Fragkias, M., Gutscher, H. & Neskakis, L. (2012). Human well-being for a planet under pressure. Transition do social sustainability. RIO+20 POLICY BRIEF #6

  • Gutscher, H., Keller, C. & Mosler, H.-J. (2000). Roads as new common pool resources, speed reduction as a public good: 2 case studies in organizing large-scale collective action [CD/Online]. Available: CD: 8th Biennial conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property (IASCP), Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.