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March 29 | The Impact of Disclosing Sensitive Identities on Resource-Flows

  • Knox Hall 501D 606 West 122nd Street New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)

WHEN: Friday, March 29th, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Knox Hall 501D, 606 W 122nd Street

This event is free and open to the public. Lunch and light refreshments will be provided. All are welcome!

The Impact of Disclosing Sensitive Identities on Resource-Flows

Maria Abascal (Sociology, Columbia) and Kinga Makovi (Social Research and Public Policy, NYU Abu Dhabi)

According to a large body of social psychological research, in general, people are more generous and trusting toward those who are like them. Prior research has focused on identities that are easily discernible, for example, race/ethnicity, gender, or "minimal" group identities assigned by the researchers. However, other salient and potentially divisive identities, like party identification, are hard to discern from how someone looks or speaks. Opinions and identities that are not immediately discernible are candidates for misrepresentation; this is especially true when valuable resources are at stake. The proposed experiments ask: How do people behave toward in-group and out-group members when information about group membership is unreliable and, potentially, inaccurate? We propose a series of online, incentivized experiments in which we manipulate (a) agreement or disagreement between players, (b) the source of their information about each other and its corresponding certainty, and (c) the stakes of the game.

Maria Abascal is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. She received her PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from Princeton University, and completed a postdoc in the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University. Her research explores intergroup relations and boundary processes, especially as they pertain to race, ethnicity and nationalism. In her research, she draws on a range of quantitative methods and data sources, including original lab, survey, and field experiments. Her work has appeared in the American Journal of Sociology, the American Sociological Review, and the Annual Review of Sociology, among other venues.

Kinga Makovi received an MS in mathematical economics from Corvinus University of Budapest. At her alma mater, she was one of the founding members of the Research Center for Educational and Network Studies. Her interest in social networks took her to Columbia University, where she earned her PhD in sociology in 2017. Her dissertation research took a structural approach to understanding popular mobilization for the abolition of the slave trade in Britain, applying tools from computational sociology and network analysis. Her past projects include the study of collective violence in the American South, as well as the determinants of fertility behaviors of parents with children with autism - appearing in Sociological Science and Social Forces. Her current projects include work on the social-structural determinant of early 20th century labor mobilization and the diffusion of practices in more contemporary contexts.

Through the Experimental Design Workshop, social scientists at Columbia have the opportunity to workshop the design of an experiment they have not yet fielded. Presenters will receive specific, actionable feedback on that design from other workshop participants. For inquiries about the Experimental Design Workshop Series, please contact Daniel Tadmon ( or Maria Abascal (

Funding support for the Experimental Design Workshop Series is provided by the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Lecture Series, administered by INCITE, which features events and programming that embody and honor Lazarsfeld’s commitment to the improvement of methodological approaches that address concerns of vital cultural and social significance.

If you are interested in joining the workshop's email list, please contact Daniel Tadmon (