Prof. Dr. René Algesheimer, co-director of the University Research Priority Program (URPP) Social Networks and Chair of Marketing for Social Impact, was recently interviewed for an article on the URPP Social Networks contribution and its future activities. An extract of the UZH News article is reported below.


“Values are the guiding principles in a person’s life, they’re taught to us from an early age, and in adulthood they help us to process and assess the things that influence us every single day.” 

–  René Algesheimer


According to Algesheimer, one of the most important contributions of his team was the creation of innovative tools to investigate the values and opinions influencing human behavior. The questionnaire for examining values has become the most widely used globally. The research team also designed an image-based questionnaire for young children who cannot yet read or write, enabling the assessment of the values and attitudes these children hold.

The URPP researchers employed these new tools to carry out extensive long-term studies on the value systems of both adults and children. In Switzerland, they explored the evolving attitudes of students towards integrating refugee children into school classes.

Additionally, the team examined how values develop across various grades and educational settings in German-speaking Swiss schools, comparing these findings with the value development of students in Poland. One key conclusion was that children in schools with diverse cultures and social classes develop more stable value systems and achieve more consistent academic performance.

Among future projects, Algesheimer mentioned “The Change Lab” – a competence center for delivering social change. His proposal presents an integrated approach to studying and managing social change, specifically aimed at achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This initiative aims to foster sustainable, cohesive, and functional societies by connecting theories on behavior modification at both individual and collective levels through participative research and by offering actionable insights for political decision-makers.

Read the full article on the UZH News website.