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URPP Social Networks

Projects within "Networks & Society"


Society forms the context in which enterprises, organizations and individuals operate. In turn, enterprises, organizations and individuals shape the social context they are living in. The importance of values for human behavior is beyond dispute. Values serve societal goals and enable individuals to cope with their social conditions. It is, therefore, quite surprising to see the extent to which this issue has been neglected by researchers in the area of business administration. This research investigates the impact of social networks on the formation, prioritization, stabilization and change of values.


The emergence & evolution of values in social networks

The topics of value emergence at early age and value development and change at later ages of life (e.g., childhood, adolescence, adulthood) attract an increasing attention in developmental research in recent years. In our research we focus on the role of social networks (school classes) on value development. We conducted a longitudinal study in Switzerland and Poland in many school classes at various educational levels. In particular, we are interested in studying value stability and change in social networks, antecedences of value change (especially individual characteristics based on personality and social processes occurring in social networks), and consequences of value change in terms of attitudes and behavior or school outcomes.

The empirical operationalization of values in social networks

In order to measure values, we are using both traditional questionnaires (e.g., the Portrait Value Questionnaire of Schwartz) and picture-based questionnaires developed for children (e.g., the Picture Based Value Survey of Doering). In order to test the cross-cultural comparability of these measures, we apply newly proposed methods for establishing cross-group measurement invariance, including the approximate one and Alignment. Moreover, we also analyze the model of cultural values in addition to the usually studied model of personal values. We also introduced the differentiation between value traits and value states and proposed a way to measure value states (based on the experience sampling method), that enabled us to differentiate various types of value structure, and present its role in development and behavior. We expanded the usual way of studying value structure by using the network analysis framework not only to analyze relations between people but also between variables (network psychometrics).

The influence of values on attitudes in social networks

We are working on several studies that utilize values to explain attitudes and behavior. For example, we examine how value preferences explain attitudes toward interpersonal violent behavior and violent behavior per se. We have been examining how values may be related directly and indirectly to attitudes toward immigrants and other minorities, and whether the effect of values on discriminatory attitudes is fully or only partially mediated by other important factors such as threat due to immigration or group relative deprivation. We also studied the role of values for attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccination. We are now utilizing our longitudinal school data in Poland and Switzerland which allow examining how values and attitudes of individuals and their peers influence each other at later time points.