CANCELED - Can Our Social Circles Help Us Forecast Election Results?

Thursday, Apr 16, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
speaker Mirta Galesic headshot

The Jacob Marschak Interdisciplinary Colloquium on Mathematics in the Behavioral Sciences at UCLA

This event has unfortunately been canceled. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.

Speaker: Mirta Galesic, Professor and Cowan Chair in Human Social Dynamics, Santa Fe Institute

Faculty Host: Van Savage, Professor of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Biomathematics, UCLA

Societal trends can be difficult to predict. A case in point are elections, where pollsters typically ask people about their own voting intentions and sometimes about their own election forecasts. These questions do not always lead to correct predictions of the election winner, even when results are adjusted using expert judgment and models. 

In this talk, Galesic will present results from several recent elections suggesting that polls asking people about voting intentions of their family and friends can produce better election forecasts. These social circle questions also help predict individuals' voting behavior and their own forecasting accuracy. They can also be used to design belief dynamics models that can help us understand the development of voting intentions within different societal groups.

Mirta Galesic is Professor and Cowan Chair in Human Social Dynamics at the Santa Fe Institute, External Faculty at the Complexity Science Hub in Vienna, Austria and Associate Researcher at the Harding Center for Risk Literacy at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany. She works on computational models of social judgments, social learning, collective problem solving and opinion dynamics. She is also interested in how people form and change their beliefs, and how they understand and cope with uncertainty and complexity inherent in many everyday decisions.

Light refreshments will be served. Reservations are requested.


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