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How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions

In How Behavior Spreads, Damon Centola presents over a decade of original research examining how changes in societal behavior–in voting, health, technology, and finance—occur and the ways social networks can be used to influence how they propagate.

The Wisdom of Partisan Crowds

To test whether the wisdom of crowds is robust to partisan bias, we conducted two web-based experiments in which individuals answered factual questions known to elicit partisan bias before and after observing the estimates of peers in a politically homogeneous social network.

Network Dynamics of Category Emergence

In this study, we use formal models and online experiments to see how categories emerge in social networks. Specifically, we develop novel theories and analyses to explain how categories emerge in social networks of various sizes and topologies.

ASA Pre-conference: Computational Sociology

We welcome you to join us at ASA pre-conference on August 10th, 2018 at the Annenberg School for Communication. This conference will feature experts from around the country who specialize in a new type of sociological research, “Computational Sociology.”

Online Course

This course condenses the last decade of cutting-edge research on these topics into six modules. Each module provides an in-depth look at a particular research puzzle -with a focus on agent-based models and network theories of social change.

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.

Social Origin of Inequality

We explore stability of status hierarchy by introducing fair social exchanges within a stratified population. We also investigate effects of network structure in these processes.

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.

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.