An Experimental Study on Opinion Dynamics in ODYCCEUS

  • Marcel Sarközi (University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany)
E1 05 (Leibniz-Saal)


In this talk, I will describe the design and the general procedure of the first experimental study, which is carried out within the ODYCCEUS project. The theoretical starting point of this study is the first opinion dynamics model developed and presented by Sven Banisch. Its basic idea is that agents evaluate alternative views on the basis of the social feedback obtained on expressing them. We expect that positive social feedback, that is strong support by the social environment on a persons expressed opinion, will reinforce the value associated to this opinion. In contrast, negative feedback will reduce the likelihood of re-expressing that opinion in that social environment.

To provide first empirical insights in this process, we will conduct a two-staged study in the summer of 2018. During the first stage participants will take part in a standardized online survey in which their attitudes towards the issue of speciesism as well as some basic political attitudes and fundamental personality traits will be collected. In the following second stage of the study, the same participants will be invited to the laboratory for a group discussion on one particular aspect of the general issue they were already questioned about. The discussions will be performed using z-Tree (Zurich Toolbox for Readymade Economic Experiments) on separated computer workstations. Afterwards, the participants will be asked to take part in another online survey, in which their attitudes towards the speciesism issue will be measured again. Our aim is to observe how positive and negative social feedback influences public and private opinions.

Antje Vandenberg

Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences (Leipzig), Germany Contact via Mail

Eckehard Olbrich

Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences (Leipzig), Germany

Sven Banisch

Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences (Leipzig), Germany