social_influence   141

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A criterion for unanimity in French’s theory of social power
French's use of digraph theory in social psychology (see –W31:–n 4473) is extended by providing a necessary and sufficient condition for the attainment of ultimate unanimity of opinions in a power structure. The isomorphism is demonstrated between French's formalization and the theory of higher transition probabilities in Markov chains. The concepts of "automorphic groups" and "power subgroups" are defined and developed
social_influence  social_networks  social_psychology  networks 
6 days ago by rvenkat
A formal theory of social power
This theory illustrates a way by which many complex phenomena about groups can be deduced from a few simple postulates about interpersonal relations. By the application of digraph theory we are able to treat in detail the patterns of relations whose importance has long been noted by the field theorists." Three major postulates are presented as well as a variety of theorems dealing with the effects of the power structure of the group, the effects of communication patterns, the effects of patterns of opinion, and leadership.
social_influence  social_networks  social_psychology  networks 
6 days ago by rvenkat
Political Attitudes | Wiley Online Books
"Political Science has traditionally employed empirical research and analytical resources to understand, explain and predict political phenomena. One of the long-standing criticisms against empirical modeling targets the static perspective provided by the model-invariant paradigm. In political science research, this issue has a particular relevance since political phenomena prove sophisticated degrees of context-dependency whose complexity could be hardly captured by traditional approaches. To cope with the complexity challenge, a new modeling paradigm was needed. This book is concerned with this challenge. Moreover, the book aims to reveal the power of computational modeling of political attitudes to reinforce the political methodology in facing two fundamental challenges: political culture modeling and polity modeling. The book argues that an artificial polity model as a powerful research instrument could hardly be effective without the political attitude and, by extension, the political culture computational and simulation modeling theory, experiments and practice."
to:NB  books:noted  downloaded  voter_model  social_influence  public_opinion  agent-based_models  political_science  simulation  interacting_particle_systems 
16 days ago by cshalizi
Optimal Design of Experiments in the Presence of Interference | The Review of Economics and Statistics | MIT Press Journals
"We formalize the optimal design of experiments when there is interference between units, that is, an individual’s outcome depends on the outcomes of others in her group. We focus on randomized saturation designs, two-stage experiments that first randomize treatment saturation of a group, then individual treatment assignment. We map the potential outcomes framework with partial interference to a regression model with clustered errors, calculate standard errors of randomized saturation designs, and derive analytical insights about the optimal design. We show that the power to detect average treatment effects declines precisely with the ability to identify novel treatment and spillover effects."
to:NB  to_read  experimental_design  network_data_analysis  social_influence  re:do_not_adjust_your_receiver 
19 days ago by cshalizi
[1811.10372] Disentangling sources of influence in online social networks
"Information propagation in online social networks is facilitated by two types of influence - endogenous (peer) influence that is dependent on the network structure and current state of each user and exogenous (external) which is independent of these. However, inference of these influences from data remains a challenge. In this paper we propose a methodology that yields estimates of both endogenous and exogenous influence using only a social network structure and a single activation cascade. We evaluate our methodology on simulated activation cascades as well as on cascades obtained from several large Facebook political survey applications. We show that our methodology is able to provide estimates of endogenous and exogenous influence in online social networks, characterize activation of each individual user as being endogenously or exogenously driven, and to identify most influential groups of users."
to:NB  to_read  contagion  social_influence  re:homophily_and_confounding  to_be_shot_after_a_fair_trial 
4 weeks ago by cshalizi
The Effect of Media Coverage on Mass Shootings | IZA - Institute of Labor Economics
Can media coverage of shooters encourage future mass shootings? We explore the link between the day-to-day prime time television news coverage of shootings on ABC World News Tonight and subsequent mass shootings in the US from January 1, 2013 to June 23, 2016. To circumvent latent endogeneity concerns, we employ an instrumental variable strategy: worldwide disaster deaths provide an exogenous variation that systematically crowds out shooting-related coverage. Our findings consistently suggest a positive and statistically significant effect of coverage on the number of subsequent shootings, lasting for 4-10 days. At its mean, news coverage is suggested to cause approximately three mass shootings in the following week, which would explain 55 percent of all mass shootings in our sample. Results are qualitatively consistent when using (i) additional keywords to capture shooting-related news coverage, (ii) alternative definitions of mass shootings, (iii) the number of injured or killed people as the dependent variable, and (iv) an alternative, longer data source for mass shootings from 2006-2016.

--Is it really this easy?
crime  contagion  social_influence  econometrics  causal_inference  i_remain_skeptical  media_studies 
8 weeks ago by rvenkat
Social Influence Bias: A Randomized Experiment | Science
Our society is increasingly relying on the digitized, aggregated opinions of others to make decisions. We therefore designed and analyzed a large-scale randomized experiment on a social news aggregation Web site to investigate whether knowledge of such aggregates distorts decision-making. Prior ratings created significant bias in individual rating behavior, and positive and negative social influences created asymmetric herding effects. Whereas negative social influence inspired users to correct manipulated ratings, positive social influence increased the likelihood of positive ratings by 32% and created accumulating positive herding that increased final ratings by 25% on average. This positive herding was topic-dependent and affected by whether individuals were viewing the opinions of friends or enemies. A mixture of changing opinion and greater turnout under both manipulations together with a natural tendency to up-vote on the site combined to create the herding effects. Such findings will help interpret collective judgment accurately and avoid social influence bias in collective intelligence in the future.
crowd_sourcing  judgment_decision-making  social_influence  social_networks  teaching  online_experiments  sinan.aral 
9 weeks ago by rvenkat
Norms in the Wild - Paperback - Cristina Bicchieri - Oxford University Press
The philosopher Cristina Bicchieri here develops her theory of social norms, most recently explained in her 2006 volume The Grammar of Society. Bicchieri challenges many of the fundamental assumptions of the social sciences. She argues that when it comes to human behavior, social scientists place too much stress on rational deliberation. In fact, many choices occur without much deliberation at all. Bicchieri's theory accounts for these automatic components of behavior, where individuals react automatically to cues--those cues often pointing to the social norms that govern our choices in a social world

Bicchieri's work has broad implications not only for understanding human behavior, but for changing it for better outcomes. People have a strong conditional preference for following social norms, but that also means manipulating those norms (and the underlying social expectations) can produce beneficial behavioral changes. Bicchieri's recent work with UNICEF has explored the applicability of her views to issues of human rights and well-being. Is it possible to change social expectations around forced marriage, genital mutilations, and public health practices like vaccinations and sanitation? If so, how? What tools might we use? This short book explores how social norms work, and how changing them--changing preferences, beliefs, and especially social expectations--can potentially improve lives all around the world.

--To-do: compare with Ullmann-Margalit's work. Don't remember the exact connections...
book  norms  dynamics  social_behavior  homophily  contagion  social_influence  networks  social_networks  teaching 
10 weeks ago by rvenkat
[1810.03579] Long ties accelerate noisy threshold-based contagions
"Changes to network structure can substantially affect when and how widely new ideas, products, and conventions are adopted. In models of biological contagion, interventions that randomly rewire edges (making them "longer") accelerate spread. However, there are other models relevant to social contagion, such as those motivated by myopic best-response in games with strategic complements, in which individual's behavior is described by a threshold number of adopting neighbors above which adoption occurs (i.e., complex contagions). Recent work has argued that highly clustered, rather than random, networks facilitate spread of these complex contagions. Here we show that minor modifications of prior analyses, which make them more realistic, reverse this result. The modification is that we allow very rarely below threshold adoption, i.e., very rarely adoption occurs, where there is only one adopting neighbor. To model the trade-off between long and short edges we consider networks that are the union of cycle-power-k graphs and random graphs on n nodes. We study how the time to global spread changes as we replace the cycle edges with (random) long ties. Allowing adoptions below threshold to occur with order 1/n‾√ probability is enough to ensure that random rewiring accelerates spread. Simulations illustrate the robustness of these results to other commonly-posited models for noisy best-response behavior. We then examine empirical social networks, where we find that hypothetical interventions that (a) randomly rewire existing edges or (b) add random edges reduce time to spread compared with the original network or addition of "short", triad-closing edges, respectively. This substantially revises conclusions about how interventions change the spread of behavior, suggesting that those wanting to increase spread should induce formation of long ties, rather than triad-closing ties."
to:NB  networks  social_influence  re:do-institutions-evolve  eckles.dean  to_read 
october 2018 by cshalizi
[1809.10302] The hidden traits of endemic illiteracy in cities
"In spite of the considerable progress towards reducing illiteracy rates, many countries, including developed ones, have encountered difficulty achieving further reduction in these rates. This is worrying because illiteracy has been related to numerous health, social, and economic problems. Here, we show that the spatial patterns of illiteracy in urban systems have several features analogous to the spread of diseases such as dengue and obesity. Our results reveal that illiteracy rates are spatially long-range correlated, displaying non-trivial clustering structures characterized by percolation-like transitions and fractality. These patterns can be described in the context of percolation theory of long-range correlated systems at criticality. Together, these results provide evidence that the illiteracy incidence can be related to a transmissible process, in which the lack of access to minimal education propagates in a population in a similar fashion to endemic diseases."

--- Of course it's coming out in _Physica A_.
to:NB  sociology  to_be_shot_after_a_fair_trial  social_influence  re:homophily_and_confounding 
september 2018 by cshalizi
Estimating Group Effects Using Averages of Observables to Control for Sorting on Unobservables: School and Neighborhood Effects
"We consider the classic problem of estimating group treatment effects when individuals sort based on observed and unobserved characteristics. Using a standard choice model, we show that controlling for group averages of observed individual characteristics potentially absorbs all the across-group variation in unobservable individual characteristics. We use this insight to bound the treatment effect variance of school systems and associated neighborhoods for various outcomes. Across multiple datasets, we find that a 90th versus 10th percentile school/neighborhood increases the high school graduation probability and college enrollment probability by at least 0.04 and 0.11 and permanent wages by 13.7 percent."

--- This sounds bogus, or at least question-begging, to me. ("If you assume that unobserved characteristics can be perfectly tracked by observed characteristics, you don't need to worry about unobserved characteristics" --- not an actual quote.) The last tag applies.
to:NB  social_influence  causal_inference  to_be_shot_after_a_fair_trial 
september 2018 by cshalizi
Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: A study of parental reports

Recruitment information with a link to a 90-question survey, consisting of multiple-choice, Likert-type and open-ended questions, was placed on three websites where parents had reported rapid onsets of gender dysphoria. Website moderators and potential participants were encouraged to share the recruitment information and link to the survey with any individuals or communities that they thought might include eligible participants to expand the reach of the project through snowball sampling techniques. Data were collected anonymously via SurveyMonkey. Quantitative findings are presented as frequencies, percentages, ranges, means and/or medians. Open-ended responses from two questions were targeted for qualitative analysis of themes.


There were 256 parent-completed surveys that met study criteria. The adolescent and young adult (AYA) children described were predominantly female sex at birth (82.8%) with a mean age of 16.4 years. Forty-one percent of the AYAs had expressed a non-heterosexual sexual orientation before identifying as transgender. Many (62.5%) of the AYAs had been diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder or neurodevelopmental disability prior to the onset of their gender dysphoria (range of the number of pre-existing diagnoses 0–7). In 36.8% of the friendship groups described, the majority of the members became transgender-identified. The most likely outcomes were that AYA mental well-being and parent-child relationships became worse since AYAs “came out”. AYAs expressed a range of behaviors that included: expressing distrust of non-transgender people (22.7%); stopping spending time with non-transgender friends (25.0%); trying to isolate themselves from their families (49.4%), and only trusting information about gender dysphoria from transgender sources (46.6%).


Rapid-onset gender dysphoria (ROGD) describes a phenomenon where the development of gender dysphoria is observed to begin suddenly during or after puberty in an adolescent or young adult who would not have met criteria for gender dysphoria in childhood. ROGD appears to represent an entity that is distinct from the gender dysphoria observed in individuals who have previously been described as transgender. The worsening of mental well-being and parent-child relationships and behaviors that isolate AYAs from their parents, families, non-transgender friends and mainstream sources of information are particularly concerning. More research is needed to better understand this phenomenon, its implications and scope.

--- and the administrative and bureaucratic stupidity that followed
debates  nature-nurture  social_influence  contagion  social_networks  sociology_of_science  gender_studies  social_construction_of_ignorance  university  academia  bureaucracy 
august 2018 by rvenkat
Fanning the Flames of Hate: Social Media and Hate Crime by Karsten Müller, Carlo Schwarz :: SSRN
This paper investigates the link between social media and hate crime using Facebook data. We study the case of Germany, where the recently emerged right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) has developed a major social media presence. We show that right-wing anti-refugee sentiment on Facebook predicts violent crimes against refugees in otherwise similar municipalities with higher social media usage. To further establish causality, we exploit exogenous variation in major internet and Facebook outages, which fully undo the correlation between social media and hate crime. We further find that the effect decreases with distracting news events; increases with user network interactions; and does not hold for posts unrelated to refugees. Our results suggest that social media can act as a propagation mechanism between online hate speech and real-life violent crime.
media_studies  social_influence  platform_studies  violence  mediation_analysis  ?  causal_inference  i_remain_skeptical 
august 2018 by rvenkat
Changing climates of conflict: A social network experiment in 56 schools | PNAS
Theories of human behavior suggest that individuals attend to the behavior of certain people in their community to understand what is socially normative and adjust their own behavior in response. An experiment tested these theories by randomizing an anticonflict intervention across 56 schools with 24,191 students. After comprehensively measuring every school’s social network, randomly selected seed groups of 20–32 students from randomly selected schools were assigned to an intervention that encouraged their public stance against conflict at school. Compared with control schools, disciplinary reports of student conflict at treatment schools were reduced by 30% over 1 year. The effect was stronger when the seed group contained more “social referent” students who, as network measures reveal, attract more student attention. Network analyses of peer-to-peer influence show that social referents spread perceptions of conflict as less socially normative.
social_influence  social_networks  social_psychology  norms  intervention  causal_inference 
august 2018 by rvenkat
Centola, D.: How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions (Hardcover and eBook) | Princeton University Press
"New social movements, technologies, and public-health initiatives often struggle to take off, yet many diseases disperse rapidly without issue. Can the lessons learned from the viral diffusion of diseases be used to improve the spread of beneficial behaviors and innovations? 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. Centola's startling findings show that the same conditions accelerating the viral expansion of an epidemic unexpectedly inhibit the spread of behaviors.
"While it is commonly believed that "weak ties"—long-distance connections linking acquaintances—lead to the quicker spread of behaviors, in fact the exact opposite holds true. Centola demonstrates how the most well-known, intuitive ideas about social networks have caused past diffusion efforts to fail, and how such efforts might succeed in the future. Pioneering the use of Web-based methods to understand how changes in people's social networks alter their behaviors, Centola illustrates the ways in which these insights can be applied to solve countless problems of organizational change, cultural evolution, and social innovation. His findings offer important lessons for public health workers, entrepreneurs, and activists looking to harness networks for social change."
to:NB  books:noted  contagion  social_influence  social_networks  centola.damon  sociology  re:homophily_and_confounding 
july 2018 by cshalizi
[1611.06713] Is Gun Violence Contagious?
"Existing theories of gun violence predict stable spatial concentrations and contagious diffusion of gun violence into surrounding areas. Recent empirical studies have reported confirmatory evidence of such spatiotemporal diffusion of gun violence. However, existing tests cannot readily distinguish spatiotemporal clustering from spatiotemporal diffusion. This leaves as an open question whether gun violence actually is contagious or merely clusters in space and time. Compounding this problem, gun violence is subject to considerable measurement error with many nonfatal shootings going unreported to police. Using point process data from an acoustical gunshot locator system and a combination of Bayesian spatiotemporal point process modeling and space/time interaction tests, this paper demonstrates that contemporary urban gun violence does diffuse, but only slightly, suggesting that a disease model for infectious spread of gun violence is a poor fit for the geographically stable and temporally stochastic process observed."
in_NB  crime  spatio-temporal_statistics  point_processes  social_influence  flaxman.seth 
may 2018 by cshalizi
Social Learning Strategies: Bridge-Building between Fields: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
"While social learning is widespread, indiscriminate copying of others is rarely beneficial. Theory suggests that individuals should be selective in what, when, and whom they copy, by following ‘social learning strategies’ (SLSs). The SLS concept has stimulated extensive experimental work, integrated theory, and empirical findings, and created impetus to the social learning and cultural evolution fields. However, the SLS concept needs updating to accommodate recent findings that individuals switch between strategies flexibly, that multiple strategies are deployed simultaneously, and that there is no one-to-one correspondence between psychological heuristics deployed and resulting population-level patterns. The field would also benefit from the simultaneous study of mechanism and function. SLSs provide a useful vehicle for bridge-building between cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology."
to:NB  social_learning  cultural_transmission  cultural_evolution  cognitive_science  social_influence  re:do-institutions-evolve 
may 2018 by cshalizi
Niezink , Snijders : Co-evolution of social networks and continuous actor attributes
"Social networks and the attributes of the actors in these networks are not static; they may develop interdependently over time. The stochastic actor-oriented model allows for statistical inference on the mechanisms driving this co-evolution process. In earlier versions of this model, dynamic actor attributes are assumed to be measured on an ordinal categorical scale. We present an extension of the stochastic actor-oriented model that does away with this restriction using a stochastic differential equation to model the evolution of continuous actor attributes. We estimate the parameters by a procedure based on the method of moments. The proposed method is applied to study the dynamics of a friendship network among the students at an Australian high school. In particular, we model the relationship between friendship and obesity, focusing on body mass index as a continuous co-evolving attribute."
to:NB  social_networks  network_data_analysis  social_influence  stochastic_differential_equations  statistics  have_read  heard_the_talk  to_teach:baby-nets  niezink.nynke  snijders.tom 
april 2018 by cshalizi

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