PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology
Jan Voelkel is a PhD student in sociology at Stanford University. Previous to his graduate training at Stanford, he received a MS in social and behavioral sciences from Tilburg University (Netherlands) and a BS in social sciences from the University of Cologne (Germany) and worked as a software developer for the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands).
In his research, Jan studies political persuasion and coalition formation. He aims to (a) identify the endogenous and exogenous factors that divide ideologically dissimilar groups and (b) design and test interventions that enable more constructive discourse about moral and political issues. He is particularly interested in the extent to which political and moral conflicts are driven by affective group identification processes that are irrelevant for the issue at hand. Methodologically, he endorses the principle of triangulation. He has used laboratory and online experiments, surveys, and qualitative interviews in his research and looks forward to learning and using other techniques.