UA School of Sociology Brown Bag Series and Social Organization Seminar Presents: Dr. Chris Bail

Talk Title: "How Status Seeking and Social Learning Shape Political Polarization on Social Media: Evidence from a Mixed-Method Field Experiment on Twitter.”


The Sociology Brownbag will be held online via Zoom at the link below from 12:00 - 1:00 pm, including Q&A. Later the same afternoon, our speaker will be discussing computational social science with participants in the Social Organization Seminar. All are welcome! A separate link for the second meeting will go out to everyone once the time is set.


Zoom Link for 12:00 pm brownbag:


Zoom Password: prism


Please find an abstract of this talk below:


"Popular narratives about how social media shapes political polarization emphasize echo chambers, foreign misinformation campaigns, and algorithmic radicalization. Yet a careful review of the scientific literature indicates there is surprisingly little evidence that these factors shape political beliefs or intergroup attitudes. Drawing upon multiple field experiments, large-scale analysis of social media data, and longitudinal in-depth interviews, this talk will offer a new account that emphasizes the role of social identity, status-seeking, and social learning. It will explain how social media distorts how people understand what other people think of them, and how this prism-like effect pushes social outcasts towards extremism and mutes moderates who do not depend on social media for their sense of self-worth. Chris Bail will introduce a suite of apps, bots, and other tools designed to help social media users enact research from this research to combat polarization from the bottom up. He will also discuss top-down solutions identified via a field experiment he conducted with his colleagues on a new social media platform for scientific research designed to discourage identity-based dynamics in political conversations online"



Noon to 1:20 p.m. April 9, 2021