Irrational mindset as a conceptual bridge from psychological dispositions to questionable health practices

The Reason4Health project is funded by the Science Fund of the Republic of Serbia within the funding scheme IDEAS.

Supporting better health decision by exploring their psychological roots

About the project

What does the R4H project investigate?

The REASON4HEALTH project examines the psychological foundations of two groups of questionable health practices:
  • non-adherence to official medical recommendations, such as preventive public health measures (e.g., vaccination) or prescribed drug therapy or other treatment
  • the use of scientifically unverified traditional, complementary and alternative medicine treatments such as traditional herbal medicines, chiropractic or reflexology…

What are the aims of the R4H project?

  • Content analysis of online media coverage regarding unverified health practices in Serbia
  • Precise measurement of the frequency of use of questionable health practices and non-adherence to official health recommendations, as well as understanding the relations between these two types of health behaviors in Serbia
  • Understanding the profile of consumers that are psychologically susceptible to questionable health practices, through mapping irrational belief systems as well as personality traits
  • Testing different messages targeted at modifying irrational beliefs and their effects on questionable health behaviors
  • Building skills to discern substantiated health arguments from pseudoscience: working with children and adolescents
  • Initiating a public dialogue with decision and policymakers about health behavior

Values of the R4H project

The R4H team is devoted to principles of open science, and these will be applied to all phases of the project. Detailed information on the project, open materials, data, and analysis will be available on the Open Science Framework project page.

What could this project mean for Serbia and the world?

The local and international scientific community will benefit from the REASON4HEALTH research project, as all research protocols, instruments, and databases will be open and can be used and analyzed further by other research teams. Outside of the academic community, the results of the project will benefit those that would like to understand psychological factors that influence health behaviors and to implement the results of the project to achieve better health outcomes for individuals and the society, either individually or through institutions or organizations. These are stakeholders that are responsible for public health – healthcare policymakers and institutions (the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Health and the Institute of Public Health), health workers and their professional organizations, the World Health Organization, and other international health organizations, and patient organizations. The end-users of the project results are all citizens of the Republic of Serbia. The results will be presented directly to the public via media, social media, workshops, and lectures, participating at the Festival of Science and other activities, to raise awareness and initiate discussions about making health decisions.



New from #Reason4Health team members @petarlukic_bg and @IrisZezelj: "Delineating between scientism and science enthusiasm: Challenges in measuring scientism and the development of novel scale" out now in @SciPublic !



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New from #Reason4Health team members @petarlukic_bg and @IrisZezelj: "Delineating between scientism and science enthusiasm: Challenges in measuring scientism and the development of novel scale" out now in @SciPublic !



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R4H project was chosen among 105 out of 917 applications; it was ranked in the top ten in all areas and third in social sciences/humanities.

The realization of the project is planned for a three-year period (Jan 2022 – Jan 2025)

Grant: #7739597

The Principal Investigator of the project is Iris Žeželj, PhD – associate professor at the Department of Psychology at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade.