Department of Sociology
Alexander Ruch is a second-year graduate student at Cornell University pursuing a PhD in sociology with a graduate minor in information science. His research links culture and cognition, social psychology, and politics using computational, network, experimental, and quantitative methods. Across these areas, he has studied morality, identity, risk, biases, group dynamics, and conflicts between science, technology, and culture. Going forward, he intends to study the diffusion of complex social contagion over networks and organizations by bridging network analysis with computational and experimental methods. Alexander has also earned a MA in sociology from the University of Iowa and a Master of Public Health degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Alexander's current research interests relate to the role of social identity in political polarization, how activism and industry mobilization have shaped the adoption of policies favoring genetic engineering, and co-review networks among contentious science products. Alexander has previously published research on morality's role in corruption disputes as well as new opportunities for studying emotion management. He has also presented work on risk perceptions' and reputations' relationships with individuals' decisions to eat genetically engineered foods, identities' effects on biasing moral judgments, farmers' markets influence on communities' diets over time, and online educational materials' abilities to help daycare workers learn about children's nutritional needs.
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