When do we change our mind?

Seminar description

With the onslaught of fake news and identity politics, the art of the discourse is fading out. Specifically, people have abandoned the dialectic discourse and opted for an “I am right you are wrong” approach. The crux of the matter is that when people are presented with facts that contradict their position, we assume a logical binary response to the presented information. However, in practice, that is not the case. There is doubt about the facts, and how to value them with respect to peoples onset positions.

The goal of the seminar is to devise and execute a proof of concept experiment, where the moment a person changes his/her mind is measured in a number of presented facts. Alternatively, using the increasing belief property from Bayesian rule mining as a model, propose an experiment to validate the model prediction of when people will change their mind.

Learning objectives

  • Gain an overview of setting up sociological experiments and ethics applications.
  • Create a proof-of-concept experiment (a few participants).
  • Apply data analysis tools to quantify and measure how strong a is a person’s belief in a given subject matter.
  • Understand the moment when people change their mind.


Course data

Language English
Presence time 4 SWS
Useful knowledge Experience in conducting experiments with people
Period Winter semester 2019
Med. Eng. Seminar Title Advance Context Recognition (ACR) / Master or Bachelor Thesis
First Meeting: Seminar introduction/Vorbesprechung
on TBD at Henkestr. 91, Haus 7, 1. OG, R 373.


Up-to-date literature recommendations are provided during the lectures.


  • Final project presentation and final report.


Dr. Luis I. Lopera G.

  • Job title: Researcher
  • Address:
    Henkestraße 91, Haus 7, 1. OG
    91052 Erlangen
  • Phone number: +49 9131 85-23605
  • Email: luis.i.lopera@fau.de

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg