The Next Level of Modeling Social Interaction: How to Detect, Quantify and Utilize Emotional Influence

When: Monday, October 17, 2011 at 4:00 pm
Where: DA 5th fl
Speaker: Dr. Frank Schweitzer, Professor
Organization: Chair of Systems Designs, Department of Management, Technology and Economics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland
Sponsor: CCNR and Barabási Lab Seminar

Models of (bounded) rational agents failed to predict, or even capture, recent collective phenomena in social and economic systems. Ranging from the current financial crisis to the Arab spring, social “ingredients” such as herding, (dis)trust, empathy, aggression, or other forms of positive or negative emotions seem to play the major role in amplifying a critical situation. Do we have tools to detect and to quantify such emotions? Online datasets (written text from fora, microblogs, or reviews) can be used to apply sentiment analysis algorithms and to map the writer’s emotions along the dimensions of valence and arousal. But what do we learn from that analysis, beyond the nation’s mood in the morning? How do expressed emotions affect the response of other users in the cyberspace? Can we develop an interaction model of emotional agents to reproduce the stylized facts observed? Could we even manipulate cyberemotions?  (and can I answer all these questions in less than one hour? — I’ll at least try).