Reading Group's Schedule of Fall 2016

Reading Group's Schedule of Fall 2016

Sept.9: David J. Zimmerman (2003): Peer effects in academic outcomes: evidence from a natural experiment The review of economics and statistics 85 (1):9-23

Abstract: I use data from Williams College to implement a quasi-experimental empirical strategy aimed at measuring peer effects in academic outcomes. In particular, I use data on individual students' grades, their SAT scores, and the SAT scores of their roommates. I argue that first-year roommates are assigned randomly with respect to academic ability. This allows me to measure differences in grades of high-, medium-, or low-SAT students living with high-, medium-, or low-SAT roommates. With random assignment these estimates would provide compelling estimates of the effect of roommates' academic characteristics on an individual's grades. I also consider the effect of peers at somewhat more aggregated levels. In particular, I consider the effects associated with different academic environments in clusters of rooms that define distinct social units. The results suggest that peer effects are almost always linked more strongly with verbal SAT scores than with math SAT scores. Students in the middle of the SAT distribution may have somewhat worse grades if they share a room with a student who is in the bottom 15% of the verbal SAT distribution. The effects are not large, but are statistically significant in many models.


Sept 23.: Saját kutatás / own research presentation: Boróka és Eliza - szervezeti kutatás


Sept. 30: Smith, E. R. (2014) Evil Acts and Malicious Gossip A Multiagent Model of the Effects of Gossip in Socially Distributed Person Perception. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 18(4), 311-325.

Abstract: Although person perception is central to virtually all human social behavior, it is ordinarily studied in isolated individual perceivers. Conceptualizing it as a socially distributed process opens up a variety of novel issues, which have been addressed in scattered literatures mostly outside of social psychology. This article examines some of these issues using a series of multiagent models. Perceivers can use gossip (information from others about social targets) to improve their ability to detect targets who perform rare negative behaviors. The model suggests that they can simultaneously protect themselves against being influenced by malicious gossip intended to defame specific targets. They can balance these potentially conflicting goals by using specific strategies including disregarding gossip that differs from a personally obtained impression. Multiagent modeling demonstrates the outcomes produced by different combinations of assumptions about gossip, and suggests directions for further research and theoretical development.


Oct.21: Christoph Stadtfeld, Daniele Mascia, Francesca Pallotti, Alessandro Lomi (2015) Assimilation and differentiation: A multilevel perspective on organizational and network change, Social Networks, vol. 44. 363–374

Abstract: This paper builds on recently derived stochastic actor-oriented models (SAOMs) for the coevolution of one-mode and two-mode networks, and extends them to the analysis of how concurrent multilevel processes of (internal) organizational and (external) network change affect one another over time. New effects are presented that afford specification and identification of two apparently conflicting micro-relational mechanisms that jointly affect decisions to modify the portfolio of internal organizational activities. The first mechanism, assimilation, makes network partners more similar by facilitating the replication and diffusion of experience. The second mechanism, functional differentiation, operates to maintain and amplify differences between network partners by preventing or limiting internal organizational change. We illustrate the empirical value of the model in the context of data that we have collected on a regional community of hospital organizations connected by collaborative patient transfer relations observed over a period of seven years. We find that processes of social influence conveyed by network ties may lead both to similarity and differences among connected organizations. We discuss the implications of the results in the context of current research on interorganizational networks.


Oct 28: Saját kutatás / own research presentation: Anikó szakdolgozat/TDK


Nov. 4: Bowles, S. (2008) Policies Designed for Self-Interest Citizens May Undermine ‘The Moral Sentiments’: Evidence from Economic Experiments. Science 320, pp. 1605-1609.

Abstract: High-performance organizations and economies work on the basis not only of material interests but also of Adam Smith's "moral sentiments." Well-designed laws and public policies can harness self-interest for the common good. However, incentives that appeal to self-interest may fail when they undermine the moral values that lead people to act altruistically or in other public-spirited ways. Behavioral experiments reviewed here suggest that economic incentives may be counterproductive when they signal that selfishness is an appropriate response; constitute a learning environment through which over time people come to adopt more self-interested motivations; compromise the individual's sense of self-determination and thereby degrade intrinsic motivations; or convey a message of distrust, disrespect, and unfair intent. Many of these unintended effects of incentives occur because people act not only to acquire economic goods and services but also to constitute themselves as dignified, autonomous, and moral individuals. Good organizational and institutional design can channel the material interests for the achievement of social goals while also enhancing the contribution of the moral sentiments to the same ends.


Nov. 18: Saját kutatás: Laura 


Nov. 25: Rulison, K. L., Gest, S. D., & Loken, E. (2013) Dynamic peer networks and physical aggression: The moderating role of gender and social status among peers, Journal of Research on Adolescence, 23, 437-449, DOI: 10.1111/jora.12044.

Abstract: We examined three interrelated questions: (1) Who selects physically aggressive friends? (2) Are physically aggressive adolescents influential? and (3) Who is susceptible to influence from these friends? Using stochastic actor-based modeling, we tested our hypotheses using a sample of 480 adolescents (ages 11–13) who were followed across four assessments (fall and spring of 6th and 7th grade). After controlling for other factors that drive network and behavioral dynamics, we found that physically aggressive adolescents were attractive as friends, physically aggressive adolescents and girls were more likely to select physically aggressive friends, and peer-rejected adolescents were less likely to select physically aggressive friends. There was an overall peer influence effect, but gender and social status were not significant moderators of influence.


Dec. 16: Saját kutatás / own research presentation: általános iskolás kutatás