Austin van Loon

Assistant Professor of Work and Organization Studies

MIT Sloan School of Management

My research is organized into two agendas. The first is substantive and examines the interplay between culture and identity in the context of intergroup conflict. To this end I make use of a wide variety of methods, but especially online experiments and computational methods such as automated text analysis and machine learning. The case that I have primarily studied in this research is political polarization in the U.S. My second research agenda is methodological and meta-theoretical—in it I seek to better understand how the tools of computational social science can be validly and effectively used to further our theoretical understanding of social phenomena. Check out my research page to learn more!

I received my PhD in Sociology from Stanford University in the spring of 2023. I am an alumnus of the Stanford GSB and Berkeley Haas Computational Culture Lab, the Stanford Sociology Polarization and Social Change Lab (PaSCL), and the 2019 Princeton Summer Institute in Computational Social Science (SICSS). My research has received funding from the Russell Sage Foundation, The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Lab for Social Research (LSR), as well as the Stanford Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS). My work has been published in Communications Psychology, Social Science Research, American Behavioral Scientist, EMNLP, ICWSM, PLoS ONE, Nature Human Behavior, and The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)

Please feel free to reach out to me at my email: 

vanloon [at] mit [dot] edu