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  The Spread of Behavior in an Online Social Network Experiment , Science

Abstract: How do social networks affect the spread of behavior? A popular 
hypothesis states that networks with many clustered ties and a high degree 
of separation will be less effective for behavioral diffusion than 
networks in which locally redundant ties are rewired to provide shortcuts 
across the social space. A competing hypothesis argues that when behaviors 
require social reinforcement, a network with more clustering may be more 
advantageous, even if the network as a whole has a larger diameter. I 
investigated the effects of network structure on diffusion by studying the 
spread of health behavior through artificially structured online 
communities. Individual adoption was much more likely when participants 
received social reinforcement from multiple neighbors in the social 
network. The behavior spread farther and faster across clustered-lattice 
networks than across corresponding random networks.

* [15] The Spread of Behavior in an Online Social Network Experiment, 
Damon Centola, 2010/09/03, DOI: 10.1126/science.1185231, Science Vol. 329. 
no. 5996, pp. 1194 - 1197


  The effect of gossip on social networks , Complexity

Abstract: In this article, we develop a simple model for the effect of 
gossip spread on social network structure. We define gossip as information 
passed between two individuals A and B about a third individual C which 
affects the strengths of all three relationships: it strengthens A-B and 
weakens both B-C and A-C. We find, in both an analytic derivation and 
model simulations, that if gossip does not spread beyond simple triads, it 
destroys them but if gossip propagates through large dense clusters, it 
strengthens them. Additionally, our simulations show that the effect of 
gossip on network metrics (clustering coefficient, average-path-length, 
and sum-of-strengths) varies with network structure and 

* [31] The effect of gossip on social networks, Allison K. Shaw, Milena 
Tsvetkova, Roozbeh Daneshvar, 2010/08/18, DOI: 10.1002/cplx.20334, 
Complexity Early View

  Barry Wellman

   S.D. Clark Professor of Sociology, FRSC               NetLab Director
   Department of Sociology                  725 Spadina Avenue, Room 388
   University of Toronto   Toronto Canada M5S 2J4   twitter:barrywellman             fax:+1-416-978-3963
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