Monday, October 19, 2009

Obesity, politics, STDs flow in social networks -

Obesity, politics, STDs flow in social networks - "Examining years of research of their own and from others, the authors conclude that social networks, both offline and online, are crucial in understanding everything from voting patterns to the spread of disease.

People have profound influences on each other's behavior within three degrees of separation, the authors find. That means that your friends, your friends' friends, and your friends' friends' friends may all affect your eating habits, voting preferences, happiness, and more. At the fourth degree, however, the influence substantially weakens. Read about their research on how happiness is contagious.

These are not small effects. 'If a mutual friend becomes obese, it nearly triples a person's risk of becoming obese,' the book said. Even geography doesn't matter; you're still at risk for gaining weight if a friend 1,000 miles away gets bigger. Listen to James Fowler talk about social networks »"

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