Sociology

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Understanding of complex contagions is crucial for explaining diffusion processes in networks. Guilbeault and Centola introduce topological mechanisms and measures to elucidate spreading dynamics and identify the most influential nodes in social, epidemic and economic networks.

    • Douglas Guilbeault
    •  & Damon Centola
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Category systems exhibit striking agreement across many cultures, yet paradoxically individuals exhibit large variation in the categorization of novel stimuli. Here the authors show that critical mass dynamics explain the convergence of independent populations on shared category systems.

    • Douglas Guilbeault
    • , Andrea Baronchelli
    •  & Damon Centola
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Cooperation among humans is threatened by the free-rider problem. Here the authors identify another challenge to human cooperation: self-reliance, the ability to solve shared problems individually. The experiment reveals that self-reliance crowds out cooperation and increases wealth inequality.

    • Jörg Gross
    • , Sonja Veistola
    •  & Eric Van Dijk
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Based on a strategic network formation model, the authors develop game-theoretical and statistical methods to infer individuals’ incentives in complex social networks, and validate their findings in real-world, historical data sets.

    • Nicolò Pagan
    •  & Florian Dörfler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Using agent-based models of a problem-solving task in a network, the authors show that clustering people of similar knowledge maintains solution diversity and increases long run system collective performance. Clustering those with similar abilities, however, lowers solution diversity and performance.

    • Charles J. Gomez
    •  & David M. J. Lazer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    How do socially polarized systems change and how does a change in polarization relate to performance? Using instant messaging data and performance records from day traders, the authors find that certain relations are prone to balance and that balance is associated with better trading decisions.

    • Omid Askarisichani
    • , Jacqueline Ng Lane
    •  & Brian Uzzi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In areas with two or more spoken languages, linguistic shift may occur as speakers of one language switch to the other. Here, the authors show that linguistic shift is faster in rural compared to urban regions of Galicia, a bilingual community in Spain, due to the competition of internal complexity and network relevance.

    • Mariamo Mussa Juane
    • , Luis F. Seoane
    •  & Jorge Mira
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Social groups form collective memories, but the temporal dynamics of this process are unclear. Here, the authors show that when early conversations involve individuals that bridge across clusters of a social network, the network reaches higher mnemonic convergence compared to when early conversations occur within clusters.

    • Ida Momennejad
    • , Ajua Duker
    •  & Alin Coman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Rapid arrival to hospital after stroke is critical for patients to receive effective treatment. Here, the authors examine how stroke patients’ social network structure relates to stroke arrival time, and show that small and close-knit personal networks predict delayed arrival.

    • Amar Dhand
    • , Douglas Luke
    •  & Jin-Moo Lee
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Complex networks can be a useful tool to investigate problems in social science. Here the authors use game theory to establish a network model and then use a machine learning approach to characterize the role of nodes within a social network.

    • Yuan Yuan
    • , Ahmad Alabdulkareem
    •  & Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Some argue that health-related behaviours, such as obesity, are contagious, but empirical evidence of health contagion remains inconclusive. Here, using a large scale quasi-experiment in a global network of runners, Aral and Nicolaides show that this type of contagion exists in fitness behaviours.

    • Sinan Aral
    •  & Christos Nicolaides