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ORA Grant for empirical and theoretical research on social influence in networks

posted Nov 4, 2018, 5:35 PM by Michael Maes
We have received funding for our project “ToRealSim: Towards realistic computational models of social influence dynamics”. The grant has a volume of 1.2 million Euro. 63 out of initially 294 pre-proposals were admitted to the full-proposal stage, of which 16 proposals received a grant.   

Summary of the project: Recently, many societies shifted towards more polarization and volatility in opinions, for example in attitudes about immigration or climate policy. The project ToRealSim (Towards realistic computational models of social influence dynamics) has the ambition to improve understanding of these dynamics by focusing on the complex micro-macro interactions that may bring them about. Opinion dynamics will be studied as possible unintended results of local yet interdependent social influence processes in large populations. In a combined effort of reseach teams from the Netherlands (U Groningen), UK (U Manchester & Leicester), Germany (Jacobs U, Bremen) and France (LISC, Aubiere), computational agent-based models will be theoretically extended, empirically calibrated with data from experiments and social network studies; and tested against observed opinon dynamics in immigration- and climate-related issues, using in particular a range of large-scale cross-country survey and panel data-sets. Models will further be used to study policy implications.
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