Does the secret to social networking lie in the remote jungle?

The Human Nature Lab is conducting research in Honduras on social networks, trying to map the true extent to which one’s connectivity can influence behavior and, more importantly, be leveraged to achieve positive outcomes. This large scale project involving 160 villages in rural Honduras, with 40,000 people, is lead by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, and backed by the Gates Foundation. Read more: Does the secret to social networking lie in the remote jungle?

Through the Wormhole

Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman filmed a segment in the Human Nature Lab  for their episode, ‘Are we all bigots?’ Evolution has hard-wired us toward subconscious bias. This episode explores how one can overcome bigotry through exposure, self-awareness, flexible social networks and violent video games. The HNL is featured briefly in the clip below and throughout the full episode.


Nature, nurture, or network?

Your friends and family influence your drinking, sleep, weight, and happiness—more than you think. Our work demonstrating the contagious nature of everything from obesity to altruism has stirred up considerable debate in the research world. It has also suggested powerful new ways to intervene in networks—for instance, to speed the switch to generic drugs, or to slow the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Read more:

Charity is Contagious: How Corporate Philanthropy Spreads

Characteristics of our social networks ripple outward and affect us in extraordinary and unlikely ways. Our attitude towards charity is affected by the people who surround us. The more that philanthropy is ingrained within our social networks, the more it will ripple outward and spread.  It’s contagious. Read more:

Five Minutes with Nicholas A. Christakis: “Discovery is greatly facilitated by methodological innovation.”

Nicholas Christakis discusses his thoughts on the frontiers in interdisciplinary research, the need for social science departmental re-shuffles, and the radical changes shaping social science’s relevance today.

The London School of Economics and Political Science: The Impact Blog, October 14, 2014

A New Kind of Social Science for the 21st century

A Conversation with Nicholas Christakis. In the 21st century, the social sciences offer equal promise for improving human welfare. The advances that we have made and will be making, especially in understanding human behavior and its very deep origins, will be translated into interventions of diverse sorts that will have a much bigger impact in terms of improving human welfare than many of the prior examples that I gave. External link: