Experiments with Social Network Interventions – Nicholas A. Christakis

Complexity Digest


Network Science Society Colloquium – January 25, 2023

Nicholas A. Christakis
Experiments with Social Network Interventions

Human beings choose their friends, and often their neighbors and co-workers, and we inherit our relatives; and each of the people to whom we are connected also does the same, such that, in the end, we assemble ourselves into face-to-face social networks that obey particular mathematical and sociological rules. Why do we do this? And how might a deep understanding of human social network structure and function be used to intervene in the world to make it better? Here, I will review recent research from our lab describing three classes of interventions involving both offline and online networks: (1) interventions that rewire the connections between people; (2) interventions that manipulate social contagion, modifying the flow of desirable or undesirable properties; and (3) interventions that manipulate the positions of people within network structures…

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