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Diffusion in Social Networks: New Theory and Experiments

February 22, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Diffusion in Social Networks:  New Theory and Experiments
–This seminar presented by the UCLA California Center for Population Research

Speaker:  Professor Damon Centola, Associate Professor of Communication & Director, Network Dynamics Group, University of Pennsylvania


Date:  February 22, 2017

Time:   12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

Location:  4420 Public Affairs Building


Abstract: The strength of weak ties is that they tend to be long – they connect socially distant locations. Research on “small worlds” shows that these long ties can dramatically reduce the “degrees of separation” of a social network, thereby allowing ideas and behaviors to rapidly diffuse. However, I show that the opposite can also be true.  Increasing the frequency of long ties in a clustered social network can also inhibit the diffusion of collective behavior across a population.  For health related behaviors that require strong social reinforcement, such as dieting, exercising, smoking cessation, or even condom use, successful diffusion may depend primarily on the width of bridges between otherwise distant locations, not just their length.  I present formal and computational results that demonstrate these findings, and then present an experimental test of the effects of social network topology on the diffusion of health behavior.

If you are interested in meeting with or joining the speaker for proseminar lunch, please send an email to Seminars@ccpr.ucla.edu

Proseminar lunch is open to student and faculty affiliates 1:30-2:30pm following the seminar

Upcoming CCPR seminars

3/8/17 Shripad Tuljapurkar, Stanford University – “Against the Grain:  New Thoughts about Old Age”

3/15/17 Julia Lane, New York University- TBD

3/22/17 Jeremy Freese, Stanford University- “The Problem of Causal Mutualisms, The Promise of Polygenic Scores, and The Pervasive Divergence of Life Outcomes”

Upcoming CCPR Workshops

2/15/17 Edward Moss and Mike Tzen – High Performance Computing: Hoffman2 for CCPR Affiliates


February 22, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
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