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Experiments

Networked Smoking Cessation

In an online experiment, we use engineered social networks to harness peer influence among smokers and nonsmokers in such a way that counteracts and eliminates biased interpretations of warning labels.

Communicating Climate Change

In this study, we provide a method for facilitating cross-party communication that eliminates biased interpretations of climate data among conservatives, while also improving the interpretations of liberals.

Physician Reasoning

This project is designed to understand how encouraging information flow between physicians and institutions can improve the accuracy of medical diagnoses.

Support or Competition?

In a randomized controlled trial, we evaluate the effects of social support and social comparison independently, and in combination, to determine how social motivations for behavior change directly impact people’s exercise activity.

Creating Critical Mass

The “tipping point” is a common explanation for sudden shifts in collective behavior, but the limitations of historical evidence and conflicting theoretical models present a challenge to understanding how a small but committed group can change the behavior of an entire population.

Cervical Cancer Prevention with Twitter

This project seeks to understand the discussion of HPV vaccination and cervical cancer on social media. Cervical cancer causes 4,220 annual deaths. 17% women do not receive appropriate Pap smear screening.

Network Evolution

How do online health networks evolve? A growing number of online health communities offer individuals the opportunity to receive information, advice, and support from their peers.

Diffusing Health Innovations

To understand how changes in people’s social “neighborhoods” affect the spread of health innovations, we developed an in vivo study that manipulated the level of “homophily”—similarity of social contacts—among the participants in an online fitness program.

Emergence of Spontaneous Social Norms

How do norms emerge? In small groups, people have complete knowledge of one another’s behaviors, making it relatively easy to create shared expectations.

Networked Innovation

Do efficient communication networks increase collective intelligence? Scientists, engineers and strategists all work within highly connected environments where each person’s solutions are used to inspire and inform the work of others.

Collective Intelligence

Decentralized networks offer enormous potential for crowd-sourced information aggregation, whether it takes the form of emergent market forces or a deliberative organizational process.

Birth Control Connect

Exposure to women using a novel method of contraception has the potential to influence contraceptive beliefs, and ultimately an individual’s decision to use contraception.

SHAPE UP

Sedentary lifestyle is an escalating national and global epidemic that has commanded increasing attention from health care professionals and social scientists.

Spreading Behavior Online

Harnessing the new opportunity offered by social media, our research pioneered the use of online technologies to investigate the effects of social structure on the spread of health behaviors.