The briq scholarship program supports about 25 Ph.D. students at the Bonn Graduate School of Economics. Some of them are directly involved in briq research activities. In a series of short portraits, the briq newsroom introduces our student fellows and what they do. Our first interview partner is Sven Walter, who has been at briq since August 2016.
What was your motivation to go into academic research?
When I worked as a student assistant during my bachelor studies, I got in touch with research in behavioral economics. From the very beginning, I was fascinated to learn more about what drives human behavior in economic contexts, but also in more general situations. That’s why it quickly became clear to me that I want to become a researcher in this area myself.
What are you currently working on?
My current research is concerned with the fragmentation and polarization of societies. It is based on the idea that members of more polarized societies interact less with contrary-minded people. We investigate what can be done to counter this trend by looking at a large-scale intervention program that brings together people with contrary opinions.
What are your research plans for the future?
I believe it’s really important to understand polarization in more depth, as it may have huge effects on all members of society. My aim is to further explore why and under what circumstances polarization is happening – and what can be done against it.