CSH Webtalk by Renata Topinkova and Alejandro Hermida

Mar 11, 2022 | 15:0016:00

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CSH visitors Alejandro Hermida Carillo (LMU) and Renáta Topinková (Charles University) will hold a joint seminar in our Webtalk series on Friday, March 11 at 3 PM on Zoom.


Please send us an email, if you would like to join the presentation.


Renáta Topinková: “It Takes Two to Tango: Desirability on a mobile dating app”

15:00 – 15:30 (CET)

Using digital traces from online dating gives us the opportunity to study the earliest stages of human mating. We focus on whether online dating app users are homophilic in terms of the desirability of whom they pursue. Using data from a Czech online dating app, we construct networks where nodes represent users and ties represent messages expressing interest (“swipes”). We find that the structure of the networks is considerably hierarchical, with women having the upper hand on the app as they are in the “choosing position” due to the uneven gender ratio on the app and their substantially higher desirability. The results further show that individuals initially pursue users who are more desirable than themselves. The reciprocated contacts are comparatively more homophilic. These results suggest that in terms of desirability, the similarity of partners is due to the subsequent mating processes (e.g., rejection) rather than due to initial preference for similarity.


Bio: Renáta is a PhD student at the department of Sociology at Charles University and a researcher at the department of Social Stratification at the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Renáta’s main research interests lay in the application of computational social science and the study of various sociological phenomena, such as social stratification, scientific communication, and most prominently online dating markets. To tackle these issues, she employs a wide range of methods from quantitative text analysis, online experiments to social network analysis.


Alejandro Hermida Carillo: “The Digital Authoritarian – Theory-Driven Predictions from Everyday Behaviors Collected with Smartphones”

15:30 – 16:00 (CET)

Right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) is on the rise, but authoritarians’ daily behaviors remain uncharted. RWA research has so far relied predominantly on data from self-reports and there are only few findings on objective indicators of RWA. Here, digital traces from smartphone use represent a promising means to investigate the behaviors of new authoritarians as they go about their modern lives. To this end, we drew on RWA literature to derive a comprehensive overview of theoretical statements and empirical reports on behavioral indicators of authoritarianism. We then translated these findings into behavioral features which can be captured using data collected from smartphone sensors and logs (e.g., app-use, mobility, music/podcast consumption). Lastly, we use machine learning models to predict self-reported authoritarianism from these behavioral features, using data from a representative sample of 749 participants whose smartphone use was tracked continuously for up to six months. By creating a theory-informed profile of authoritarians in the digital era, we aim to contribute to the containment of the spread of authoritarianism.


Bio: Alejandro is a PhD student at the LMU Munich School of Management working at the intersection of organizational behavior, social psychology, and data science. He holds a BSc in Psychology from the UNAM (Mexico) and an MSc in Economic, Social, and Organizational Psychology from the LMU Munich. Alejandro is interested in the study of the self and identity generally, and multiple sources of identity (e.g., family, work, political affiliation) specifically. He uses data from online communities, smartphones, and surveys to examine pressing contemporary phenomena such as mandatory work from home, job loss, and authoritarianism.


Mar 11, 2022