INVESThub

Platform for Experimental Methodology and Interventions in Social Sciences

INVESThub focuses on interventions, experimental and quasi experimental methods. We conduct cutting-edge research on evidence-based interventions in early life, and other studies that are aimed at improving the efficiency of the current welfare state institutions.

INVESThub strengthens the research of interventions and social experiments within the INVEST Research Flagship. Research on the societal and individual conditions and mechanisms involved at different periods of life enables our researchers to evaluate and further develop various universal and targeted interventions to improve the efficiency of the current welfare state institutions.

INVESThub is an unique new collaboration which combines the experimental decision-making research with the welfare state research made at the INVEST Research Flagship Centre. We co-operate with PALO (Participation in Long-Term Decision-Making) project and PCRClab (Public Choice Research Center Decision Laboratory), which both study decision-making.

 

Who we are?

Kirsi Peltonen Associate Professor, Head of Unit, INVESTHub, PhD in Psychology
Tiina Turunen Senior researcher, PhD in Psychology
Hector Bahamonde
Héctor Bahamonde Senior Researcher, PhD in Political Science
Aki Koivula Senior Researcher, PhD in Social Sciences
Esther Mbih Postdoctoral Researcher, PhD in Economics
Francesco Pompedda
Francesco Pompedda Senior Researcher, PhD in Psychology
Vesa-Matti Paasivaara Research Coordinator (M.Soc.Sc)

News and updates

Summer is here and we are searching groups and/or individual scholars to participate our Workshop Tracks and Brownbag Sessions. Please check the sechedules below and be in touch with us if you would like to join these events as a presenter.

Have a good summer!

Other latest news

Time flies and this week we had already our second part of The Workshop Tracks concept which we started in January. This time we had a a follow-up meeting and we heard from FACTOR project how they survey experiment went and what kind of experiences the process offered the. We had a fruitful brainstrorming and came up with very useful ideas how tho conduct surveys in the future and how to avoid some possible pitfalls etc. In general, we are very happy about this concept it felt that it fulfilled our expectations well. And of course we are very grateful and delighted to our participants so far. To refer senior researcher Mikko Leino from FACTOR project:

We found this concept of  Workshop Tracks a very useful to us for developing our research processes to be better. We got many good ideas from the comments and discussions, and we also implemented them in the field. Thank you”.

After the workshop we hed to cost to have have a strategy retreat with the INVESThub group. We planned our actions for the next semester and we are happy to annonunce that we will continue the Workshop Tracks. Actually, this time we would like to take from two to four projects to these tracks. Feel free to contact us if you would like to paricipate to this concept in the Autumn and have a support for your field experiments. Also, Brown Bag sessions will continue and they will be arranged every first Wednesday of the month, starting in september. Details about these events will be updated to their own sections below.

Coming up:

Brown Bag Session: 22nd of May, Publicum KH149 first floor at 11-12, Pauline Norris(University of Otago) will give us presentation about her researcher on interventions. information will be updated soon below in the Brown Bag section. We welcome everyone to join us!

INVESThub is hosting two parallel sessions in the INVEST Conference on 15-17 May! The sessions are hosted by INVESThub group and named Social Experiment I & II. Please find more information about the conference and programme here.

 

INVESThub Group

The above mentioned was updated in May 2024

Spring comes always fast! Here are some updates what’s going on in our INVESThub unit.

Brown Bag Sessions have been very interesting and nice events, thank you for all presenters at this point. And as a good news, we are arranging an extra session on 22nd of May. That time, Pauline Norris (University of Otago) will give us presentation about her researcher on interventions. information will be updated soon below in the Brown Bag section. We welcome everyone to join us!

The Workshop Tracks will continue with a follow up meeting on 6th of May and we will hear experiences from FACTOR group and how they completed their survey desing. More information will be updated below to the workshop’s section. If you would like to join this event, please feel free to contact us.

INVESThub is hosting two parallel sessions in the INVEST Conference on 15-17 May! The sessions are hosted by INVESThub group and named Social Experiment I & II. Please find more information about the conference and programme here.

Also, we will have an own strategy retreat in May and we are starting to plan our next activities. Let’s be in touch and have a good Spring time!

The above mentioned was updated in March 2024

INVESThub has a new member as Francesco Pompedda (Senior Researcher, PhD in Psychology, Licensed Psychologist, CPsychol, FHEA) hopped on board in the beginning of the year. He has expertise in designing and evaluating training programs in Investigative Interviews of Children. Welcome Francesco!

In the meantime, the hub’s spring has started nicely. The first pilot Workshop Track was very fruitful event and Brown Bag Sessions have been rolling nicely. Many activies are to come on Spring time so stay tuned for more information soon!

The above mentioned was updated in January 2024

Happy new year!

INVESThub starts its year with piloting new Workshop Tracks concept. First workshops will be held on 17th of January in which Sami Ahonen will be presenting his research group’s plans for their study: Framing climate policies through climate change mitigation, economic benefits and energy security – an experimental approach. Also, Anniina Kaittila will be presenting  her research group’s  plans for continuation of their research FinSoc which focuses on social work interventions. These both workshops open up a very interesting platform to approach and brainstorm practical matters of studies in their early stages. The second part of the workshops will be arranged in May, and that time we will have a follow up for these groups and hear how their studies have succeeded.

INVESThub will arrange atleast four Brownbag Sessions in the Spring. In these sessions, we will hear a very interesting presentations on soscial experiments and interventions from different fields of sciences. The details will be updated on this page below.

Updated 17.1.2024: Thank you so much to all participants for the first Workshop Tracks! Read more about this event below from the accordion “Workshop Tracks”. 

Updated on September 2023

Autumn 2023 will be very active for INVESThub. We are now contacting researchers and inviting them to visit our Brown Bag Sessions. The schedule for that will be released soon. Also, we will gather together in November to plan our upcoming Workshop Tracks. The basic idea is to search and offer a consultance for reaserch group which is doing research on social experiments and inteventions. Our aim is to arrange a series of workshops with this group during the year 2024. In these workshops, the aim is to support the group by sharing our expertise and to brainstorm ideas. The idea is to follow up the development of their work for the whole year. And as an exhange, this kind of action will naturally offer us possibilities to develop our own research activity.  Stay tuned for more!

We also decided to have an own visual look. Our brilliant Jonne Värikäs desingned us a logo which is built up from some of INVEST flagship’s elements mixed with some own elements. So, from now on, you can recognize us from the following figure:

 

Updated on June 2023

In early June 2023, INVESThub team gathered for a strategy seminar in Villa Paradise, located in a stunningly beatiful Noux. The aim of the seminar was to plan actions of the hub in the near future but also in long terms. The hub will bring more it’s expertise in teaching and naturally the research activity will be active. Also, searching for a new funding opportunities will be under the radar.  For other practices, we are going to launch a new concept of workshops. And last but not least, the Brown Bags Series will continue with exciting research presentations in the Fall 2023.  Stay tuned and see you soon!

Updated on Spring 2023

In early June 2023, INVESThub team gathered for a strategy seminar in Villa Paradise, located in a stunningly beatiful Noux. The aim of the seminar was to plan actions of the hub in the near future but also in long terms. The hub will bring more it’s expertise in teaching and naturally the research activity will be active. Also, searching for a new funding opportunities will be under the radar.  For other practices, we are going to launch a new concept of workshops. And last but not least, the Brown Bags Series will continue with exciting research presentations in the Fall 2023.  Stay tuned and see you soon!

In early June 2023, INVESThub team gathered for a strategy seminar in Villa Paradise, located in a stunningly beatiful Noux. The aim of the seminar was to plan actions of the hub in the near future but also in long terms. The hub will bring more it’s expertise in teaching and naturally the research activity will be active. Also, searching for a new funding opportunities will be under the radar.  For other practices, we are going to launch a new concept of workshops. And last but not least, the Brown Bags Series will continue with exciting research presentations in the Fall 2023.  Stay tuned and see you soon!

Updated on Spring 2023

The Spring 2023 will be very active and interresting in INVESThub. Kirsi Peltonen started as an Associate Professor and Docent Aki Koivula as a senor researcher. Also, recruiting an IT-specialist to support research is progressing. We will coninue our Brownbag Sessions to offer a nice forum to present and share ideas for social experiments. There will be nice presentations from different fields of science. As a new thing, the seminars will also be streamed. There are also other events coming up so stay tuned! To be mentioned, the Hub will also have an own parallel session in the next INVEST Scientific Seminar.

UPDATE 17th of March 2023

Warmest thanks to Nevena Kulic for great collaboration and seminar presentation!

Title of the speech:

Awareness of gender and educational inequality and support for school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey experiment

 

UPDATE 24.4.2023.

Warmest thanks to Mikko Leino, Katariina Kulha and Maija Setälä for presenting a very interresting plans for the research in FACTOR project. They introduced us how to build a research desing for the study: Three ‘types’ of climate deliberation – a lab-in-the-field experiment. The discussion was very active and fruitful. It gave the group good  some ideas and advice for supporting the succesful compliation of the study!

Meeting and discussion

ACTIVITIES

INVESThub Brown Bags Series

At the INVESThub organizes a series of monthly “INVESThub Brown Bags” in which we gather around informal yet committed presentations. The objective is to strengthen the research community interested in experimental work by sharing ideas, comments and questions.

We encourage you to come to give a presentation and discuss about your work.

Would you like to reserve a session time? Please contact Héctor Bahamonde Norambuena: hibano@utu.fi

Brown Bag Sessions Spring 2024

UPCOMING EVENTS

22nd of May 11-13 , KH149 Publicum 1st. floor: Pauline Norris

Title: From research to policy change: a randomised controlled trial of prescription medicine copayments in New Zealand

Absctract:

Early in 2023 the results of our randomised controlled trial of prescription copayments were published in BMC Health Services Research. We found that exempting people from copayments led to fewer hospitalisations. In May, informed by our study, the New Zealand government decided to eliminate prescription copayments for everyone in New Zealand. I will talk about the background to our study, give a short description of the study itself, and then discuss factors that led to its impact on policy.

Zoom: https://utu.zoom.us/my/bahamondeh

 


18th of April 11-13, Lecture hall Pub5 Publicum 3rd floor: Kaisa Herne

NOTE! We have moved to “biring your own lunch” -system and registration is not needed anymore. The idea is to bring your own lunch and enjoy it together with colleagues (definitely better than just ‘ordinary’ lunch).  Welcome!

Also hybrid  in Zoom: https://utu.zoom.us/my/bahamondeh

Title of the speech: Does the mode of deliberation influence opinion transformations and learning in a deliberative mini-public? An experimental comparison of online automated moderator, online human moderator and face-to-face citizen deliberations”

Abstract:

Does the mode of deliberation – face-to-face with human moderators, online with human moderators and online with automated moderating – influence opinion formation and learning in a deliberative mini-public? We study a mini-public called Citizens’ parliament which was organized according to the Deliberative poll® model. We expect that the mode of deliberation does not have significant effects on outcome variables because the main tenets of deliberative mini-publics (rules of discussion, briefing materials, hearing experts, moderated discussions) are held constant across the modes.

Participants (n=671) to the Citizens’ parliament were recruited through a random sample of the population (n=30000). Participants were randomly allocated into one of the three treatment conditions. In the Face-to-face condition, participants discussed face-to-face with human moderators (in Sokos Hotel Tripla, Helsinki). In Online human moderator, participants discussed in an online meeting (via Zoom) with human moderators. In Online automated moderator, participants discussed in an online platform with automated moderating.

All discussions took place in small groups of about ten people. The topics were based on four citizens’ initiatives, two of which were about drug use policies and two about fuel pricing and taxation. Apart from the meeting mode, the procedures were held constant. Participants received briefing materials and rules of discussion prior deliberations, and during deliberations they could pose questions to experts. Each participant completed four surveys, of which three were administered before deliberations (t1-t3) and one after (t4). Surveys included items on opinions on the discussed topics, democracy preferences, political trust and efficacy, affective polarization and political knowledge. A control group that fulfilled the same surveys was also formed. The aim of the control group was to measure potential public opinion changes during the time lag between pre and post surveys.

We hypothesize that: Participants’ opinions de-polarize and on average become more progressive (H1); Opinion changes are not different in the three modes of deliberation (H2); Participants’ issue knowledge increases in the course of deliberation (H3); Knowledge changes are not different in the three modes of deliberation (H4).


PAST EVENTS

January 18th at 11-13: Samuli Kangaslampi

Title of the speech: Psychedelic Research – Findings, Questions, Challenges

Abtract:

Psychedelics are back in science. They are being studied as psychiatric treatments, used as tools in neuroscientific and consciousness research, and the social and philosophical implications of their increasing use is actively. There is increasing media hype and entire psychedelic industries have even appeared.

In this talk, I briefly introduce the background to the current wave of research into psychedelics and then present some of my empirical and theoretical work related to psychedelic-induced mystical experiences, methodological issues in psychedelic research, and MDMA-assisted treatment of PTSD. I then describe some ideas and avenues for future research, and finally explore some of the practical, ethical, methodological, and philosophical questions and challenges involved in psychedelics as a rather unique and sometimes controversial research topic.

Investhub brwnbag session invitation


February 15th Publicum faculty meeting room KH149 first floor 11-13: Maija Jäske

Title of the speech: “How do the design features and the outcome affect public trust in an advisory mini-public: A survey experiment”

Abtract:

Deliberative mini-publics have become widely used and studied forms of citizen participation during the last few decades (OECD, 2020). They engage a randomly selected group of lay citizens in hearing experts, discussing in respectful environment and forming collective opinions to support decision-makers in politics and governance. Recent empirical studies have found that mini-publics can be trusted sources of information and instruments for policy-making among voters outside the deliberative forum as well (e.g. Knobloch et al. 2019; Suiter and Reidy 2020; Setälä et al. 2020). In this paper, we examine how information regarding the design features of an advisory mini-public and its policy recommendations affect the wider public’s legitimacy, especially trust, in the mini-public. Our population-based factorial survey experiment is based on an actual mini-public, organized in Finland in Spring 2021. Commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment, the purpose of the Citizens’ Jury was to provide input to the preparation of the national Medium-Term Climate Change Policy Plan.


March 7th Publicum faculty meeting room KH149 first floor 11-13: Oskari Lahtinen

Title: Mindfulness – overhyped superpower?

Abstract

The replication crisis in psychology has not left mindfulness research untouched. Contrary to how it’s been advertised, mindfulness may not cure your psoriasis or treat your high blood pressure. However, short 8 week courses still appear to offer reductions in anxiety, depression, stress, and experiencing pain. Currently mindfulness instruction is typically delivered via a meditation app, which are used by hundreds of millions of people. Evidence indicates the apps offer similar benefits to face-to-face programs. This lecture looks at what mindfulness is, how it has been defined, how one practices it, what may be its clinical application, and what effects it has. The topic is approached via my own digital mindfulness intervention Tita.

Oskari Lahtinen presenting research

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brown Bag Sessions Autumn 2024

Brown Bag Session Schedule for the Autumn is the following:

  • Wednesday 4th of September, 11.00-12.00, Publicum, first floor KH149
  • Wednesday 2nd of October, 11.00-12.00, Publicum, first floor KH149
  • Wednesday 6th of November, 11.00-12.30, Publicum, first floor KH149: Roope Grönroos &  Moona Heiskari 
  • Wednesday 4th of December, 11.00-12.00, Publicum, first floor KH149: Florencia Olivares Gonzalez

The sessions will be also on-line in Zoom.

More information will follow soon!

Workshop tracks

Workshop Tracks Spring semester 2024

Welcome to our first Workshop Tracks will be arranged on 17th of January.

There are two research groups presenting their plans:

  • Sami Ahonen, Aino Tiihonen & Mikko Leino (FACTOR project): Framing climate policies through climate change mitigation, economic benefits and energy security – an experimental approach.
  • Anniina Kaittila’s research group: Continuation of FinSoc project which focuses on social work interventions

Update 17.1.2024. Thank you so much for the very first pilot Workshop for all participants!

Kirsi Peltonen:

“Planning a high quality social experiment or -intervention is not easy. Lots of smalll (and also big) descisions to make regarding the design and setting. Would be nice to have a group of people from different fields to consider those decisions with you?

Would also be nice to come back to those people after the trial and discuss what decisions were actually made, how did it went, what was succesfull and what was not. We at INVESTHub started the Workshop Tracks today to support the research groups or individual researchers with their experimental trials from the beginning to the end. Lots of notes taken, lots of laugh and lots of knowledge in this room today.”

Seminar room and participants

Seminar rooom and presenters

Workshop Tracks Autumn Semester 2024

We are now planning the next woirkshop tracks. The planned schedule is the following.

Part I: Reseach desings and fielding the studies

  • Monday 26th of August 12-15
  • Wednesday 11th of Septempber 10-15

Part II. The Follow-up Meeting

  • Wednesday 27th of November 12-15
  • Wednesday 11th olf December 10-15

We are looking for participants, please feel free to contact: vemapa@utu.fi if you are interrested!

 

 

 

Sessions in INVEST Scientific Seminars

INVESThub in INVEST conference May 15.5.17.5.2024

INVESThub will take part in the INVEST Conference: Digitalization, social inequality and behavioural change, 15–17 May 2024 Turku, Finland.

INVESThub is hosting two parallel sessions! The sessions are  named Social Experiment I & II. Please find more information about the conference and programme here.

Pincipal investigators of the INVESThub