After obtaining MA degrees from the University of Konstanz and the Universitat de Pompeu Fabra I pursued a PhD at the Institute of Political Science, University of Bern, Switzerland (Sep 2011 – April 2015).
In my dissertation I studied the concept of trust from various angles. I worked (and still work) on the conceptualization of trust, the measurement of trust and factors that should influence trust. Regarding the latter I investigated the role of experiences, personality traits and the impact of institutional contexts.
My second research agenda concerns public opinion and more specifically the polarization of public opinion. Broadly speaking, the polarization of public opinion describes the phenomenon that opinions within populations become more extreme. Taking the example of a single scale, e.g. a scale measuring support for the welfare state, polarization describes the process where large parts of a population wander to opposing, extreme points of that scale. At the EUI I want to study ways of conceptualizing and measuring polarization, variation and trends of polarization across Europe and the relationship between opinion polarization and other social phenomena.
In general, I am interested in quantitative methods and more specifically in measurement, causal inference and visualization. Together with Simon Munzert (University of Konstanz) I was awarded the German General Social Survey Prize 2014 and my research was published in the Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Science Research and Methods, the European Sociological Review and the Swiss Political Science Review.