Call for Papers: “Psychological roots of questionable health practices”


Guest Editors:

Iris Žeželj,

Department of psychology and Laboratory for the study of Individual differences, Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade, Serbia


Ljiljana B. Lazarević,

Institute of psychology and Laboratory for the study of Individual differences Faculty of Philosophy, Belgrade, Serbia

The focus of the Special Issue, Aims, and Scope

Non adhering to official medical recommendations increases mortality, threatens overall public health, and presents a financial burden to the health system. WHO listed vaccine hesitancy and antibiotic overuse in the top ten global health threats in 2019; the current COVID-19 pandemic further testifies to its importance. Typically viewed as harmless, however, there are complementary/alternative health practices that can also lead to adverse effects, interaction with the official treatments, or avoidance of the official treatments. There are strong reasons to explore the psychological roots of these questionable health practices (QHP) as that can help to tailor public health communications - if we better understand the profile of consumers more prone to resort to practices not supported by evidence, we could target them more specifically; if we investigate the reasoning behind poor health choices, we can try to challenge it and support people in making more informed decisions. As we now know that confronting misinformation with correct information might not be enough, we need more evidence on how to approach the consumers so as not to further alienate them but to make them potential partners.

By QHP we assume both non adhering to official medical advice (be it public health measures to prevent COVID 19 spread, or self-medicating of prescription drugs) and resorting to pseudoscientific practices (non-evidence-based supplements; dietary regimens - paleo diet, keto diet, alkaline diet; CAM practices- homeopathy, acupuncture, reiki).

The topics of interest for contributed papers include, but are not limited to:

  • belief correlates of QHP (epistemologically suspect beliefs such as conspiracy theories, thinking styles, cognitive biases);
  • personality correlates of QHP;
  • interventions aimed at QHP or underlying factors;
  • the spread of health misinformation in the media.

We welcome all types of research, from correlational studies, field and laboratory experiments to content analysis. The topics can be addressed either from the perspective of social psychology, psychology of individual differences, health psychology, or cognitive psychology.

How to Submit

There is a two-stage submissions process. Initially, interested authors are requested to submit extended abstracts of their proposed papers. Authors of the selected abstracts will then be invited to submit full papers. All papers will undergo blind peer review.

The Editors are advising authors to submit only one paper per author.

Stage 1: Structured Abstract Submission

Interested authors should submit a structured abstract of the planned manuscript before submitting a full paper. The goal is to provide authors with prompt feedback regarding the suitability and relevance of the planned manuscript to the special issue.

Structured abstracts must not exceed 1500 words and should entail the following sections: (a) Background, (b) Objectives, (c) Research question(s) and/or hypothesis/es, (d) Method, (e) Results, (f) Conclusions and implications (expected).

Structured abstracts should be submitted via email to both guest editors: and Please state in the subject that it is a submission for a special issue of Studia Psychologica. The deadline for submission of structured abstracts is April 1, 2021.

Stage 2: Full Paper Submission

For those who have been encouraged to submit a full paper, the deadline for submission of manuscripts is July 1, 2021. Full manuscripts should be submitted electronically, via:

Articles of regular length should be 20 double-spaced pages (around 6000 words) including abstract, tables and references.

Please visit the author guidelines to read the full submission details for the Studia Psychologica journal at:

Please ensure you select this special issue from the relevant drop down menu on page 1 of the submission process.

Important Dates

April 1, 2021: Abstract Submission

April 15, 2021: Decision on Submitted Abstract

July 15, 2021: Submission deadline

September 15, 2021: First Round Decisions

November 15, 2021: Revised manuscripts due

January 15, 2022: Editorial decision on revised papers and Final acceptance notification

March 2022 Online publication. Special Issue is planned as No.1 in 2021.