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Douglas Guilbeault - Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley. Berkeley, CA, US

Douglas Guilbeault Douglas Guilbeault

Assistant Professor | Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley


Leading researcher in computational sociology and online social network experiments


Areas of Expertise (6)

Social Media Policy


Culture and Cognition

Collective Intelligence

Computational Sociology

Collective Creativity


Douglas Guilbeault is an Assistant Professor in the Management of Organizations Group at the Haas School of Business. He studies how people learn, challenge, develop, and invent categories by communicating in social networks. This investigation extends to the analysis of how organizations mediate and augment social computation by enabling new forms of communication, coordination, and creativity. This investigation further extends into how the social construction of meaning can be shaped by various sources of influence, such as political messaging and the design of social media platforms. His work on these topics has appeared in a number of journals, including Nature Communications, The Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences, Cognition, Policy and Internet, and The Journal of International Affairs, as well as in popular news outlets, such as The Atlantic and Wired. Guilbeault’s work has received top research awards from The International Conference on Computational Social Science, The Cognitive Science Society, and The International Communication Association. In addition, he was a recipient of Stanford's "The Art of Science" award for the piece "Changing Views in Data Science over 50 Years" produced in collaboration with the research collective, comp-syn. Guilbeault has also worked as a consultant on social media policy and people analytics for leading tech companies (e.g., Google and Facebook). His current research is funded by Facebook and the NIH.

Honors & Awards (6)

Stanford’s “Art of Science” Competition (Winner)

2020 Changing Views in Data Science over Fifty Years

Facebook Content Moderation Policy Research Award

2019 Networked Crowdsourcing: An Online Experiment in Content Moderation. w. Damon Centola. ($100,000)

Computational Modeling Prize in Applied Cognition

2019 The Social Network Dynamics of Category Formation. The 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. w. Andrea Baronchelli and Damon Centola. ($1000)

Best Paper Award

2018 Bipartisan Social Networks Reduce Political Bias in the Interpretation of Climate Trends. The International Conference on Computational Social Science. Kellogg, Northwestern, July. w. Joshua Becker and Damon Centola. ($1,000)

Dissertation Award

2018 The Network Dynamics of Interdisciplinary Research. The Institute for Research on Innovation and Science, The University of Michigan. ($15,000)

Top Student Paper Award

2018 What should we do about Political Automation? Challenges for Policy and Research. Communication & Technology Division, The International Communication Association, Prague, March. w. Robert Gorwa.

Positions Held (1)

At Haas since 2020

2021 - present, Faculty Affiliate, Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS) 2020 - present, Assistant Professor, Management of Organizations, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

Media Appearances (8)

Why independent cultures think alike when it comes to categories: It's not in the brain

phys.org  online


Imagine you gave the exact same art pieces to two different groups of people and asked them to curate an art show. The art is radical and new. The groups never speak with one another, and they organize and plan all the installations independently. On opening night, imagine your surprise when the two art shows are nearly identical. How did these groups categorize and organize all the art the same way when they never spoke with one another?

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How seeing a political logo can impair your understanding of facts

PBS News Hour  online


Merely seeing these political and social labels can cause you to reject facts that you would otherwise support, according to a study published by Guilbeault et al. on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science.

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Regulating Bots on Social Media Is Easier Said Than Done



A bot is an automated software program that does something. Beyond this rudimentary description, bots vary tremendously. As Robert Gorwa and Douglas Guilbeault’s helpful typology of bots shows, a social media account could have automated components but retain some degree of human control, creating a sort of cyborg bot (a “cybot”).

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How Political Campaigns Weaponize Social Media Bots

IEEE Spectrum  


Analysis of computational propaganda in the 2016 U.S. presidential election reveals the reach of bots

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Tinder nightmares: the promise and peril of political bots

Wired UK  


In the days leading up to the UK’s general election, youths looking for love online encountered a whole new kind of Tinder nightmare. A group of young activists built a Tinder chatbot to co-opt profiles and persuade swing voters to support Labour. The bot accounts sent 30,000-40,000 messages to targeted 18-25 year olds in battleground constituencies like Dudley North, which Labour ended up winning by only 22 votes.

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How Twitter Bots Are Shaping the Election

The Atlantic  


Between the first two presidential debates, a third of pro-Trump tweets and nearly a fifth of pro-Clinton tweets came from automated accounts.

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Social Media's Increasing Role In The 2016 Presidential Election

NPR  radio


Did social media help make 2016 one of the nastiest campaign seasons ever? In part yes, due to the nature of social networks.

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How Twitter Bots are Shaping the Election

The Atlantic  online


There is power in numbers, or so the saying goes. But statistics mean different things to different people. Take Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, for instance. Last week, the conservative political commentator Scottie Nell Hughes summed up the relative value of digits in a conversation with Anderson Cooper. “The only place that we’re hearing that Donald Trump honestly is losing is in the media or these polls,” she said. “You’re not seeing it with the crowd rallies, you’re not seeing it on social media—where Donald Trump is two to three times more popular than Hillary Clinton on every social media platform.”

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Selected Papers & Publications (3)

Experimental Evidence for Scale Induced Category Convergence across Populations

Nature Communications

Douglas Guilbeault, Andrea Baronchelli, and Damon Centola


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Social learning and partisan bias in the interpretation of climate trends


Douglas Guilbeault, Joshua Becker, and Damon Centola


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Unpacking the Social Media Bot: A Typology to Guide Research and Policy

Policy and Internet

Robert Gorwa and Douglas Guilbeault


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