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Jan G. Voelkel

Ph.D., Sociology, Stanford University
M.A., Sociology, Stanford University, 2021
M.S., Social and Behavioral Sciences, Tilburg University, 2017
B.S., Social Sciences, University of Cologne, 2015
Graduation Year
Dissertation Title
Megastudies for Social Change: Identifying the Most Promising Treatments for Changing Political Attitudes
Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Sociology, Cornell University
Initial Placement
Postdoctoral Fellow - Cornell University and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Jan G. Voelkel earned his PhD in Sociology and is a member of the Polarization and Social Change lab at Stanford University. 

Jan's research examines under which conditions micro-level preferences for more equality and unity influence macro-level outcomes, such as elections. For example, Jan’s research has examined under what conditions Americans (i) refuse undemocratic elites, (ii) support women candidates for president, and (iii) back economically progressive politicians. In his dissertation work, Jan led the Strengthening Democracy Challenge, a megastudy that tested 25 crowdsourced experimental treatments for reducing anti-democratic attitudes and partisan animosity.


Jan’s research has been published in journals, such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature Human Behaviour, PNAS Nexus, and Psychological Science. His research has been covered by media outlets, such as The New York Times, the Washington Post, and The Atlantic.


At Stanford, Jan is the Michelle and Kevin Douglas Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow and a former Philanthropy and Civil Society Fellow and Stanford Impact Labs Fellow. Jan has won the Open Science Innovator Award, the Barbara and Sandy Dornbusch Award for Best Paper in Social Psychology, and the Leila Arthur Cilker Award for Outstanding Teaching Assistance.

Before his dissertation work, Jan earned a MA in Sociology from Stanford University, a MS in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Tilburg University, and a BS in Social Sciences from the University of Cologne. In his spare time, Jan enjoys moral dilemmas, plays racket sports, and plans political murder mystery parties.

Latest Publications

Journal Articles & Book Chapters