enlarge the image: Picture: Christian Hüller
Picture: Christian Hüller

Short Profile

Fabian M. Heß is a research associate at the Institute of Psychology, Department of Social Psychology. He is doing his PhD at the University of Leipzig on the intergroup conflict between radical Islam and radical anti-Islam. In his current research, he is investigating the motivational basics and relevant boundary conditions of radicalization processes.

Working Experience

  • since 12/2020
    Research associate and Ph.D. student in the BMBF joint project "Radical Islam versus radical anti-Islam (RIRA)", subproject: "Threat perceptions as factors of anti-Islamic radicalization and their pedagogical treatment" in the Department of Social Psychology, University of Leipzig
  • 06/2017 - 07/2018
    Research assistant in the Department of Biological Psychology, University of Koblenz-Landau
  • 12/2016 - 08/2018
    Research assistant in the Department of Social, Environmental, and Occupational Psychology, University of Koblenz-Landau


  • since 10/2020
    Studies in philosophy in the European context (M. A.) at FernUniversität in Hagen
  • 10/2018 - 11/2020
    Studies in psychology (M. Sc.) at the University of Leipzig
  • 10/2015 - 09/2018
    Studies in psychology (B. Sc.) at the University of Koblenz-Landau
  • 10/2012 - 09/2015
    Studies in philosophy and educational science (B. A.) at Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
  • reactions to existential, significance, and control threats
  • motivational, cognitive, and behavioral processes of radicalization
  • Islamic extremism and right-wing extremism


Hess, F. M. & Grosche, C. (2022). Wir gegen die Anderen. Gruppenprozesse, Bedrohungsgefühle und Konflikte zwischen Gruppen als Treiber von Radikalisierungs- und Polarisierungstendenzen. Ligante. Fachdebatten aus der Präventionsarbeit, 5, 16-23.


  • Quest for significance and group-based control as possible motivations underlying radicalization into violence? Difficulties in demonstrating loss of significance effects on radicalization in three experiments. Presentation with Elisa Merkenschlager and Immo Fritsche at the 26th Workshop on Aggression in Jena, November 11, 2022.
  • Dealing with radical Islamism as a threat to control and challenge for categorization on a superordinate level. Presentation at the 52nd Congress of the German Psychological Society in Hildesheim, September 13, 2022.
  • Bringing Muslims and anti-Muslims together through a common national identity of “diverse Germany”. Presentation at the 22nd Jena Workshop on Intergroup Processes: National identity - Its nature, causes, and consequences at Eyba Castle, July 3, 2022.
  • Vier (bis fünf) Antworten auf die Frage, warum sich Personen radikalisieren. Presentation at the RADIS-Conference "Radikalisierung verstehen, vorbeugen und begegnen" in Berlin, May 20, 2022.
  • Radical Islam as a threat to control – but who are ‘they’, who are ‘we’? Presentation at the 3rd Meeting of the German Political Psychology Network in Chemnitz, March 11, 2022.