Time: Friday 14th February 2014, 3 - 4.30pm
Location: 69-71 University Street/Room 0G/007
Speaker: Dr. Ralf Wölfer, University of Oxford, Department of Experimental Psychology
RSVP: This is an open and free event.
Within the last decade, social scientists increasingly recognize the potential of social network analyses (SNA), which enrich the explanation of human behavior by explicitly taking their social structure into account. Driven by the recent technical advancement of statistical programs that allow the application of complicated algorithms to large datasets, SNA have reached a point of analytic refinement that make them a valuable tool in order to test the social mechanisms that underlie our behavior. Particularly for the field of intergroup relations, this analytic perspective is highly valuable, because they allow illuminating intergroup contact objectively within its actual social structure. Therefore, in this presentation, I provide an introduction of SNA by demonstrating cross-sectional and longitudinal applications that highlight their potential and limitations tailored to the specific interests of group researchers.
Speakers Biography: I studied psychology at the Freie Universität Berlin from 2003 to 2008, before I received a three-year predoctoral research scholarship from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (LIFE Research School). After my doctoral degree in 2011, I worked as a research scientist in Berlin and since 2013 at the University of Oxford.
My main research objective is to understand the nature of social relationships by examining the extent to which this underlying social structure affects our behavior and vice versa. In particular, I am interested in the operating social influence processes that are responsible for the occurrence and maintenance of aggressive behavior (e.g., ostracism, (cyber-) bullying, and intergroup conflict). For this purpose, I combine different research perspectives (e.g., social network analyses, experimental studies, and longitudinal large-scale surveys) in both basic and applied research.
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