Is misbehavior contagious?

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Before starting i ask you to “play” this game (and take notes):

Screenshot 2020-08-19 at 16.07.22

The hidden influence of social networks. We’re all embedded in vast social networks of friends, family, co-workers and more. Nicholas Christakis tracks how a wide variety of traits -from happiness to obesity- can spread from person to person, showing how your location in the network might impact your life in ways you don’t even know.


So, let’s look at how networks may affecteconomic behavior.

Prof. Matthew Jackson (Stanford University) gives a talk on how does information diffuse through a society. Who are the most influential people in a society and how does one identify them from their position in a network? How do we become aware of who the most important people in our community are? What important role does gossip play in our lives? These and other questions will be explored in this lecture.

To know more you can read his recent book, “The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviors,” which explains how the topology of our social networks affects the spread of information in spheres ranging from health and finance to pop culture. 

Do you want to know more? I suggest you keep an eye on the Copenhagen Center for Social Data Science (SODAS) and on its initiatives. New types of data, in particular digital data, is flooding the social sciences. The broad catchphrase for the analysis of such data is ‘data science’. The Faculty of Social Sciences has made new, digital forms of data – sometimes collectively known as big data – and the integration of such data with social scientific modes of enquiry a priority at the Faculty. 

Summary of Module :

  • To build better models of human behavior we cannot ignore that humans are fundamentally a social species with interaction patterns that shape their behaviors.

  • The full network of relationships—how dense it is, whether some groups are segregated, who sits in central positions—affects how information spreads and how people behave.

  • Increased availability of data coupled with increased computing power allows us to analyze networks in economic settings in ways not previously possible. 

Suggested movie for tonight: Network (1976)


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