Reading Group's Schedule of Winter/Spring 2017

Feb. 10: Own research: Szvetelszky Zsuzsanna


Mar. 3: Molloy, L. E, Gest, S. D., & Rulison, K. L. (2011). Peer Influences on Academic Motivation: Exploring Multiple Methods of Assessing Youth’s Most Influential Peer Relationships. The Journal of Early Adolescence 2011 31: 13

Abstract: The present study examines the relative role of three distinct types of peer relationships (reciprocated friendships, frequent interactions, and shared group membership) in within-year changes in academic self-concept and engagement before and after the transition to middle school (fifth and seventh grade). In a series of linear regression analyses, main effects of each peer type’s academic self-concept and engagement on changes in youths’ academic characteristics were used to test socialization processes. Interactions of youths’ academic skills with those of each peer type were used to test social comparison processes influencing changes in academic selfconcept. Results suggest unique roles of each peer relationship differentially influencing changes in youths’ academic adjustment as well as stronger influence effects during seventh than fifth grade. Implications are discussed in terms of distinct influence processes associated with each peer relationship


Mar. 10: Van Workum, N., Scholte, R. H. J., Cillessen, A. H. N., Lodder, G. M. A., & Giletta, M. (2013). Selection, deselection, and socialization processes of happiness in adolescent friendship networks, Journal of Research on Adolescence, 23, 563-573, DOI: 10.1111/jora.12035.

Abstract: This study investigated selection, deselection, and influence processes of happiness in adolescent friendship networks. Longitudinal data on friendship networks and happiness of 426 adolescents (M = 15.78, SD = 0.65) were analyzed, using stochastic actor-based models. Although happiness similarity did not predict friendship formation (selection), happiness dissimilarity predicted friendship dissolution (deselection). In addition, adolescents influenced each other's happiness over time (influence). Our findings indicated that happiness influence can involve either increases or decreases in adolescent happiness, depending on the average level of happiness of their friends. The results highlighted that, in order to understand the development of adolescents’ happiness, it is important to examine the happiness of their friends.


Mar.31: de Nooy, Wouter (2011): Networks of Action and Events over Time. A Multilevel Discrete-Time Event History Model for Longitudinal Network Data. Social Networks, in press. Doi: 10.1016/j.socnet.2010.09.003

Abstract: Longitudinal network data recording the moment at which ties appear, change, or disappear are increasingly available. Event history models can be used to analyze the dynamics of time-stamped network data. This paper adapts the discrete-time event history model to social network data. A discrete-time event history model can easily incorporate a multilevel design and time-varying covariates. A multilevel design is needed to account for dependencies among ties and vertices, which should not be ignored in a small longitudinal network. Time-varying covariates are required to analyze network effects, that is, the impact of previous ties. In addition, a discrete-time event history model handles constraints on who can act or who can be acted upon in a straightforward way. The model can be estimated with multilevel logistic regression analysis, which is illustrated by an application to book reviews, so network evolution can be analyzed with a fairly standard statistical tool.


Apr. 7: Own research: Lilla


Apr. 21: Gibson , Rajna and Tanner, Carmen and Wagner, Alexander F. (2016) , How Effective Are Social Norm Interventions? Evidence from a Laboratory Experiment on Managerial Honesty, Swiss Finance Institute Research Paper No. 15-01.

Abstract: Social norms can act as safeguards against corporate misconduct, but can also foster undesirable behavior. We conduct a laboratory experiment where we expose participants (in the role of CEOs) to social norms approving or disapproving of earnings management. There are systematic differences among individuals' reactions to the situational pressure. Specifically, individuals with strong preferences for truthfulness react less to both kinds of social norms. Self-signaling provides a convincing explanation of individual behavior. These findings have implications for the empirical analysis of managerial behavior and for the use of social norms as steering tools for corporate governance.




Jun. 9Vilone, D., Giardini, F. & Paolucci M. (2016) New Frontiers in the Study of Social Phenomena, chap. Partner selection supports reputation-based cooperation in a Public Goods Game, Springer.

Abstract: In dyadic models of indirect reciprocity, the receivers’ history of giving has a significant impact on the donor’s decision. When the interaction involves more than two agents things become more complicated, and in large groups cooperation can hardly emerge. In this work we use a Public Goods Game to investigate whether publicly available reputation scores may support the evolution of cooperation and whether this is affected by the kind of network structure adopted. Moreover, if agents interact on a bipartite graph with partner selection cooperation can thrive in large groups and in a small amount of time


Jun.16: Martin G. Kocher; Simeon Schudy; Lisa Spantig (2016) I lie? We lie! Why? Experimental evidence on a dishonesty shift in groups Munich Discussion Paper No.

Abstract: Unethical behavior such as dishonesty, cheating and corruption occurs frequently in organizations or groups. Recent experimental evidence suggests that there is a stronger inclination to behave immorally in groups than individually. We ask if this is the case, and if so, why. Using a parsimonious laboratory setup, we study how individual behavior changes when deciding as a group member. We observe a strong dishonesty shift. This shift is mainly driven by communication within groups and turns out to be independent of whether group members face payoff commonality or not (i.e. whether other group members benefit from one’s lie). Group members come up with and exchange more arguments for being dishonest than for complying with the norm of honesty. Thereby, group membership shifts the perception of the validity of the honesty norm and of its distribution in the population.


Jun. 30: Leonardo Bursztyn and Robert Jensen (2015) How Does Peer Pressure Affect Educational Investments?, Quarterly Journal of Economics 2015 130: 1329-1367

Abstract: When effort is observable to peers, students may try to avoid social penalties by conforming to prevailing norms. To test this hypothesis, we first consider a natural experiment that introduced a performance leaderboard into computer-based high school courses. The result was a 24 percent performance decline. The decline appears to be driven by a desire to avoid the leaderboard; top performing students prior to the change, those most at risk of appearing on the leaderboard, had a 40 percent performance decline, while poor performing students improved slightly. We next consider a field experiment that offered students complimentary access to an online SAT preparatory course. Sign-up forms differed randomly across students only in whether they said the decision would be kept private from classmates. In nonhonors classes, sign-up was 11 percentage points lower when decisions were public rather than private. Honors class sign-up was unaffected. For students taking honors and nonhonors classes, the response depended on which peers they were with at the time of the offer, and thus to whom their decision would be revealed. When offered the course in a nonhonors class (where peer sign-up rates are low), they were 15 percentage points less likely to sign up if the decision was public. But when offered the course in an honors class (where peer sign-up rates are high), they were 8 percentage points more likely to sign up if the decision was public. Thus, students are highly responsive to their peers are the prevailing norm when they make decisions.