Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How discount They Shape Our Lives -- How Your Friends' Friends' online Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do online

Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How discount They Shape Our Lives -- How Your Friends' Friends' online Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do online

Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How discount They Shape Our Lives -- How Your Friends' Friends' online Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do online
Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How discount They Shape Our Lives -- How Your Friends' Friends' online Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do online__left
Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How discount They Shape Our Lives -- How Your Friends' Friends' online Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do online__after

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Celebrated scientists Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler explain the amazing power of social networks and our profound influence on one another''s lives.

Your colleague''s husband''s sister can make you fat, even if you don''t know her. A happy neighbor has more impact on your happiness than a happy spouse. These startling revelations of how much we truly influence one another are revealed in the studies of Dr. Christakis and Fowler, which have repeatedly made front-page news nationwide.

In Connected, the authors explain why emotions are contagious, how health behaviors spread, why the rich get richer, even how we find and choose our partners. Intriguing and entertaining, Connected overturns the notion of the individual and provides a revolutionary paradigm-that social networks influence our ideas, emotions, health, relationships, behavior, politics, and much more. It will change the way we think about every aspect of our lives.

Review

"Christakis and Fowler have written the book on the exciting new science of social networks. CONNECTED could change your life forever. How? Read it yourself and find out."― Daniel Gilbert, bestselling author of Stumbling on Happiness

"In a category of works of brilliant originality that can stimulate and enlighten and can sometimes even change the way we understand the world."― The New York Times

"Groundbreaking."― Kirkus

"An entertaining guide to the mechanics and importance of human networking."― Publishers Weekly

"Engaging and insightful...sure-to-be a blockbuster... Connected succeeds in connecting with its audience."― SeedMagazine.com

"Illuminating...The authors excel at drawing out the devil in the detail. Connected has profound implications."― New Scientist

"Intriguing."― SmartMoney.com

" Connected explores the startling intricacies of social networks."― O, The Oprah Magazine

"Could well be one of the most important works of the decade. Full of fascinating stories and examples. A must read."― Ed Diener, Joseph Smiley Distinguished Professor of Psychology University of Illinois and author of Happiness

"In a social world exploding with new ways to interact, Connected is a user''s guide for ourselves in the 21st century."― Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics and author of Predictably Irrational

"A God''s-eye view of social relationships that may make you dizzy. Every business leader, teacher, and parent should see their life from this vantage."― Chip Heath, coauthor Made to Stick

"A lively, well-written account of social networks and their power to shape our lives. The world becomes smaller and more meaningful after reading this engaging book."― Sudhir Venkatesh, author of Gang Leader for a Day

"The possibility that we all participate in one mind challenges religion, philosophy, and the meaning of life itself."― Deepak Chopra, San Francisco Chronicle

"[In a category of] works of brilliant originality that can stimulate and enlighten and can sometimes even change the way we understand the world."― The New York Times

"A clever, cogent, and enjoyable look at the latest thinking about humans in community. It provides a swath of important research in one place for readers and makes it a stimulating read."

Michael Fitzgerald, Boston Globe

"An intellectual but accessible approach. The authors make a persuasive case for the power of social networks to affect everything and everyone."― Business Week

About the Author

Nicholas A. Christakis is a physician and sociologist who explores the ancient origins and modern implications of human nature. He directs the Human Nature Lab at Yale University, where he is the Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science, in the Departments of Sociology, Medicine, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Statistics and Data Science, and Biomedical Engineering. He is the Co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science and the co-author of Connected.

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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 54.3 out of 5
239 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Grant Fritchey
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Fascinating Information
Reviewed in the United States on May 15, 2015
The premise of the book is pretty simple. You have close friends and acquaintances. Your close friends and acquaintances also have friends and acquaintances, that may or may not over lap with yours. Those people also have another set of friends and acquaintances. And here''s... See more
The premise of the book is pretty simple. You have close friends and acquaintances. Your close friends and acquaintances also have friends and acquaintances, that may or may not over lap with yours. Those people also have another set of friends and acquaintances. And here''s the kicker, that third layer, not your friend, or your friend''s friend, but your friends friends friend can affect your daily mood, the amount of exercise you do, whether or not you smoke, your involvement in crime, all sorts of things. The book sets out to prove it. Along the way you also learn about things like why you probably only have somewhere between 3-8 close friends. Why you probably don''t have more than about 100 people that you communicate with regularly (uh, but what about my 7,000+ Twitter followers?). How these are to a degree biological factors hardwired into you. Most interesting of all is how the ripples just fade away at the third layer, over and over again throughout their studies and their testing.

The book was just filled with highly interesting facts about how your network influences you. Also, how you can influence your network. It also matters the type of network that you have. Are you connected to lots of people that aren''t connected to each other, weak ties, or are you connected to lots of people that are all connected to one another, strong ties. Each of these types of networks influences you differently. Your behavior within a network is probably following one of three paths; cooperator, you''re willing to help others, free rider, you''re letting others do the heavy lifting, enforcer, you''re making sure everyone follows the rules. Your behavior is also likely to shift between those roles depending on who you''re interacting with and when.

In short, a fascinating book. I do have a nit to pick with it though. At the end of it all, I have a great set of information about what a strong network would look like. I get a good sense of why I would want to have a strong network. Nothing about how to really get a strong network other than making sure my friends are connected with my friends and that my friends, and as much as possible their friends and their friends, are all on a positive path. Right. I''m sure that''s easy to work out. Guidance around this network thing would have been nice.
32 people found this helpful
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Anthony Bosnick
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
"We are unconsciously led by the people around us." (From back cover)
Reviewed in the United States on September 24, 2016
I found this book quite interesting. It was not easy to read but interesting enough to keep me engaged. The numerous illustrations very helpful in understanding the points being made in the book about the impact of relationships being interconnected and the impact that... See more
I found this book quite interesting. It was not easy to read but interesting enough to keep me engaged. The numerous illustrations very helpful in understanding the points being made in the book about the impact of relationships being interconnected and the impact that this has on our lives and decisions.

Also, the point made by the authors about the impact others have on us and the impact we have on others was intriguing, especially that "You do not have to be a superstar to have this power. All you need to do is connect" (p. 305). Our connections can thus either help promote or degrade the common good. How important it is to know that we can make the world better through our connections with others promoting things of value such as truth, beauty, and justice (those traits upheld by the Greeks). There is value in building community.
10 people found this helpful
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Robert Morris
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
How and why our connections to other people matter more, much more than any other connections do
Reviewed in the United States on November 15, 2013
I read this book when it was first published in 2009 but am only now getting around to re-reading and then reviewing it. Since then, the nature and extent of social media have expanded and extended far beyond anything that Tim Berners-Lee could have imagined twenty years... See more
I read this book when it was first published in 2009 but am only now getting around to re-reading and then reviewing it. Since then, the nature and extent of social media have expanded and extended far beyond anything that Tim Berners-Lee could have imagined twenty years ago when he developed his concept of the worldwide "web" of electronic connection and interaction while working as an independent contractor the for European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Currently he is the director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Presumably Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, co-authors of Connected, are amazed by the growth of networks of various kinds since they published their book.

As they observe in the Preface, "Scientists, philosophers, and others who study society have generally divided into two camps: those who think they are in control of their destinies, and those who believe that social forces (ranging from a lack of good public education to the presence of a corrupt government) are responsible for what happens to us." They think a third factor is missing from this debate: "our connections to others matter most, and by linking the study of individuals to the study of groups, the science of social networks can explain a lot about human experience." I agree.

This book is the result of what Christakis and Fowler have learned thus far from their research and I think they make a substantial contribution to a discussion of a question that has continued for several thousand years: "What makes us uniquely human?" They remain convinced that to know who we are, we must first understand how we are connected.

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Christakis and Fowler''s coverage.

o Rules of Life in the Network (Pages 16-26)
o Emotional Contagion (37-40)
o The Spread of Happiness (49-54)
o Big Fish, Little Pond (71-75)
o Dying of a Broken Heart? (81-86)
o Changing What We Do, or Changing What We Think? (112-115)
o Moody Markets (148-153)
o Three Degrees of Information Flow (153-156)
o Networking Creativity (162-164)
o Real Politics in a Social World (184-187)
o The Network Architecture of Political Influence (202-204)
o The Ancient Ties That Bind (213-217)
o Networks Are in Our Genes Too (232-235)
o A Brain for Social Networks (240-243)
o The Human Superorganism (289-292)

As some of these subjects suggest, there are striking similarities between the nature and extent of connections within the human brain and those that occur within social organizations such as Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I eagerly await breakthrough insights in months and years to come that increase our understanding of metacognition even more.

During a conversation near the conclusion of the book in the Reading group Guide, Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler are asked this question: "What particular aspects of social networks are you currently researching? Is there anything exciting coming to light?" Their response:

"We are especially intrigued by the idea the idea that evolution may have shaped the networks humans form with one another, and we think this might give us a clue about some important questions: Why do we help each other so much compared to other species? What is the reason for the spark in love at first sight?"

Stay tuned....
24 people found this helpful
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ap
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Extremely thorough
Reviewed in the United States on October 26, 2016
This is a very considerable piece of work and it''s has deep implications for understanding human behaviors. This book is pretty dense and well organized. The authors build up the definition of what a network is and our role in a network. The importance of networks. The... See more
This is a very considerable piece of work and it''s has deep implications for understanding human behaviors. This book is pretty dense and well organized. The authors build up the definition of what a network is and our role in a network. The importance of networks. The implication of technology. Finally they walk us through several examples. There''s a lot to learn here.

Its not one of those lighy easy going business books. As long as you''re prepared for that you''ll get a lot out of this.

I was looking for more on the impact of Facebook and the implications of SnapChat. What this book did cover about pre-Facebook era and the rise of Facebook was insightful.
7 people found this helpful
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J. Gordon
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Hidden creepiness uncovered in human influence
Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2013
It''s a little dark but that''s ok. The author''s conclusions from original research reveal hidden influences among us and reframe old famous stories about how people influence each other indirectly and directly but subconsciously. Friends of friends of friends influence us.... See more
It''s a little dark but that''s ok. The author''s conclusions from original research reveal hidden influences among us and reframe old famous stories about how people influence each other indirectly and directly but subconsciously. Friends of friends of friends influence us. It''s not a hard sell based on his explanations of his research. He walks the reader through an influence''s transmission from connection to connection, e.g., laughing, weight gain, smoking and STDs. Profound stuff, really, especially considering how negative environments like prisons, frenzied mobs and junior highs probably influence people directly and indirectly, e.g., prison staff and management, 1930s Germany and bullying in middle schools.

I subtracted a star because the book dates itself severely and briefly bogs down with a smattering of coverage of the first social networking websites as if they''re hot news, e.g., describing Facebook as having about 175 million users and Friendster as if anyone would remember it a few years later. I wish an editor removed or altered this section to prevent the book from stumbling briefly into fleeting journalism.

The book "Emotional Contagion" might be a good companion, though it''s about direct influence, if I remember it correctly.

Connected''s uncovering of unintuitive indirect influences makes it surprising, even shocking in parts, and worth buying. I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to be more conscious of subtle influences on oneself, friends and society.
5 people found this helpful
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Mr.Bill
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Vast amount of information and statistics about how others can affect us
Reviewed in the United States on May 15, 2016
Connected is a very intriguing book that makes you aware of situations or events that can affect you even though you weren''t there. For example your friends friends cat died. This 3rd degree of separation can still impact you in some way. This book goes more in-depth about... See more
Connected is a very intriguing book that makes you aware of situations or events that can affect you even though you weren''t there. For example your friends friends cat died. This 3rd degree of separation can still impact you in some way. This book goes more in-depth about the 6 degrees of separation and how you can get fat, how happy you are and how you will never date your ex-partner''s current partners etc. Even, if you feel some statistics you read don''t make sense. The authors provided citations for most of their notes so you can always research it on your own time.

The cons of this book in some of the chapters is that when the point has already been made the authors reiterate over again in different words to try and prolong the chapter/story etc. It is not much of a deal breaker but it''s a slight con.
4 people found this helpful
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ARGTop Contributor: Pets
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent book on networks in the real world
Reviewed in the United States on May 5, 2017
Excellent book on networks in the real world. Basic concepts explained in reader friendly way, but enough meat to satisfy a more curious reader. As a student of complex systems, I was familiar with most of the examples but still some new stuff too. Also, the chapter... See more
Excellent book on networks in the real world. Basic concepts explained in reader friendly way, but enough meat to satisfy a more curious reader. As a student of complex systems, I was familiar with most of the examples but still some new stuff too. Also, the chapter structure drew some excellent comparisons and made an excellent narrative. Big thoughts will ensue for anyone reading this. Makes you look at the world around you in a new way.
4 people found this helpful
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Channi
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Repetitive and lacking a cohesive narrative
Reviewed in the United States on May 31, 2019
It''s an interesting topic, but a bit dry. There are many examples, but the authors don''t tie them together or highlight additional takeaway points. You get the main idea in the first chapter and then it just keeps repeating.
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Top reviews from other countries

Glenn Myers
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Revelatory but a bit of a slog
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 24, 2015
Only three stars for this well-researched, original and intriguing book, mainly because I was much more interested in the original and intriguing conclusions than the many pages of social and psychological research and anecdote. These Harvard profs doubtless want to strut...See more
Only three stars for this well-researched, original and intriguing book, mainly because I was much more interested in the original and intriguing conclusions than the many pages of social and psychological research and anecdote. These Harvard profs doubtless want to strut their academic stuff but I would have liked (at least) more in the way of summary and signpost, For all that, fascinating, thought-provoking and one of those books that makes you think differently for ever after. Definitely worth a read. Here are some of the things I learnt from reading (and extrapolating from) this book 1. We won''t understand humans just by thinking of individuals, or yet of social class or race, So things about us are only explicable by seeing us as part of networks. For example, stock market crashes (or exuberance) are much more explained by people being influenced by the network around them, rather than the facts. 2. We affect others in many striking and unexpected ways, and these effects only die out after three degrees of separation: friends of friends of friends.Happiness, obesity, suicide, political affiliation, how piano teachers find new pupils, all show up as clusters in networks. Many things work better (health messages, evangelism) when we think of reaching a network rather than reaching a set of individuals. Persuade a well-connected person to change, and change may spread through the network; persuade someone on the edge of things, and only her or she may change. All of us instinctively seem to know or pick up our place in a given network, eg workplace, new church etc. We know if we''re on the edge; we know if we''re well-connected, and that knowledge affects our wellbeing. 3. Because we influence others so much (I think) it is important who speaks first at a meeting. The second speaker has the option of tweaking or agreeing (easy) or radically disagreeing (hard). If a queue of people have already agreed, it''s even harder to disagree and harder still to carry the day. 4. A fruitful place to find all kinds of new relationship (romantic, business etc) is the network of your friends'' friends. It''s a much larger network than the one just made up of your friends, but it''s also preselected to be full of possibly congenial people and both you and they are have a place to start your relationship that is superior to the cold call or the chance meeting. 5. Creative teams work well when they are (a) small and very interconnected and (b) loosely connected to others so that they can get fresh creative input. A team of people just thrown together doesn''t work too well, nor does one who all know each other very well and have nothing fresh coming in from outside. Really worthwhile, but wish there was a bit less of it.
Only three stars for this well-researched, original and intriguing book, mainly because I was much more interested in the original and intriguing conclusions than the many pages of social and psychological research and anecdote. These Harvard profs doubtless want to strut their academic stuff but I would have liked (at least) more in the way of summary and signpost, For all that, fascinating, thought-provoking and one of those books that makes you think differently for ever after. Definitely worth a read.

Here are some of the things I learnt from reading (and extrapolating from) this book
1. We won''t understand humans just by thinking of individuals, or yet of social class or race, So things about us are only explicable by seeing us as part of networks. For example, stock market crashes (or exuberance) are much more explained by people being influenced by the network around them, rather than the facts.
2. We affect others in many striking and unexpected ways, and these effects only die out after three degrees of separation: friends of friends of friends.Happiness, obesity, suicide, political affiliation, how piano teachers find new pupils, all show up as clusters in networks. Many things work better (health messages, evangelism) when we think of reaching a network rather than reaching a set of individuals. Persuade a well-connected person to change, and change may spread through the network; persuade someone on the edge of things, and only her or she may change.
All of us instinctively seem to know or pick up our place in a given network, eg workplace, new church etc. We know if we''re on the edge; we know if we''re well-connected, and that knowledge affects our wellbeing.
3. Because we influence others so much (I think) it is important who speaks first at a meeting. The second speaker has the option of tweaking or agreeing (easy) or radically disagreeing (hard). If a queue of people have already agreed, it''s even harder to disagree and harder still to carry the day.
4. A fruitful place to find all kinds of new relationship (romantic, business etc) is the network of your friends'' friends. It''s a much larger network than the one just made up of your friends, but it''s also preselected to be full of possibly congenial people and both you and they are have a place to start your relationship that is superior to the cold call or the chance meeting.
5. Creative teams work well when they are (a) small and very interconnected and (b) loosely connected to others so that they can get fresh creative input. A team of people just thrown together doesn''t work too well, nor does one who all know each other very well and have nothing fresh coming in from outside.

Really worthwhile, but wish there was a bit less of it.
4 people found this helpful
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Doris H.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 4, 2016
Great, and delivered quickly :-)
Great, and delivered quickly :-)
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Chillyfinger
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Waste of Time and/or Money
Reviewed in Canada on October 21, 2017
I heartily recommend the subject of this book -- social networks are very important (duh) and seriously under-studied. But the question is, will you learn anything of value about social networks from this particular book? First, let me discourage you from buying the Kindle...See more
I heartily recommend the subject of this book -- social networks are very important (duh) and seriously under-studied. But the question is, will you learn anything of value about social networks from this particular book? First, let me discourage you from buying the Kindle edition, which omits the plates. Visualization of networks is central to understanding what the authors are talking about but it''s insane to pay almost $50 for the hard copy version. I reserve that kind of money for true classics and this ain''t one by a long shot. So, don''t buy it at all but maybe find it in your local library. The authors are eager to present a "science" of social networks. Accordingly, the text is sprinkled with scientific fairy dust, including a liberal dose of "evolution talk" that reveals the authors fundamentally misunderstand evolution. We also have the usual cherrypicked and confirmation biased collection of "studies" supposedly confirming or at least suggesting the author''s ideas. These connections are typically very weak, illustrated by the prevalence of such words as "may", "might", "suggest" ... The strongest connections are confirmation of the bleeding obvious, such as our tendency to treat friends and people like ourselves with more kindness than we treat strangers (duh). Generally speaking, the authors cover up their lack of deep understanding of their own subject by loading the text with hundreds of pages of irrelevant filler. The authors love "truthiness", an idea invented by Stephen Colbert. They are particularly fond of tossing around laughably precise numbers reflecting things like "happiness" and "conservatism". The authors reveal the sadly prevalent error of feeding non-numerical data, such as the strength of friendship, into numerical calculations resulting in impressively precise "truthy" numbers. This is a straightforward error, akin to adding apples, oranges, and kittens or preference for apples, oranges and kittens over lemons and dogs. Nonetheless, many of us have inadvertently bought the book and don''t want to waste their money, so we plow through all this nonsense to find a few gems and interesting stories (which may or may not be true). It''s almost a waste of time AND money, but not quite. If you are collecting textbook examples of misuse of evolution, laughable application of statistics and padding out a book with irrelevant filler, it may be worth your money.
I heartily recommend the subject of this book -- social networks are very important (duh) and seriously under-studied. But the question is, will you learn anything of value about social networks from this particular book?

First, let me discourage you from buying the Kindle edition, which omits the plates. Visualization of networks is central to understanding what the authors are talking about but it''s insane to pay almost $50 for the hard copy version. I reserve that kind of money for true classics and this ain''t one by a long shot. So, don''t buy it at all but maybe find it in your local library.

The authors are eager to present a "science" of social networks. Accordingly, the text is sprinkled with scientific fairy dust, including a liberal dose of "evolution talk" that reveals the authors fundamentally misunderstand evolution. We also have the usual cherrypicked and confirmation biased collection of "studies" supposedly confirming or at least suggesting the author''s ideas. These connections are typically very weak, illustrated by the prevalence of such words as "may", "might", "suggest" ... The strongest connections are confirmation of the bleeding obvious, such as our tendency to treat friends and people like ourselves with more kindness than we treat strangers (duh). Generally speaking, the authors cover up their lack of deep understanding of their own subject by loading the text with hundreds of pages of irrelevant filler.

The authors love "truthiness", an idea invented by Stephen Colbert. They are particularly fond of tossing around laughably precise numbers reflecting things like "happiness" and "conservatism". The authors reveal the sadly prevalent error of feeding non-numerical data, such as the strength of friendship, into numerical calculations resulting in impressively precise "truthy" numbers. This is a straightforward error, akin to adding apples, oranges, and kittens or preference for apples, oranges and kittens over lemons and dogs.

Nonetheless, many of us have inadvertently bought the book and don''t want to waste their money, so we plow through all this nonsense to find a few gems and interesting stories (which may or may not be true). It''s almost a waste of time AND money, but not quite. If you are collecting textbook examples of misuse of evolution, laughable application of statistics and padding out a book with irrelevant filler, it may be worth your money.
2 people found this helpful
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JulzB
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Want to Quit Smoking or Lose Weight? The Secret is in Your Network
Reviewed in Canada on September 10, 2015
Given the following choice for your level of attractiveness, which would you prefer: A: You can be about a 6/10 in a group of people who average 4/10. B: You can be about an 8/10 in a group of people who average 10/10. Which group would you choose? If you chose A you are in...See more
Given the following choice for your level of attractiveness, which would you prefer: A: You can be about a 6/10 in a group of people who average 4/10. B: You can be about an 8/10 in a group of people who average 10/10. Which group would you choose? If you chose A you are in good company. 75% of people chose A. I chose B. My thinking was that if I were in group A, it''s more likely I would let myself go and become a 5. There would be no incentive to improve. The majority of people surveyed do not share my perspective. Perhaps it''s because the average person isn''t actually aware of just how much the people in their circle impact their life and their decisions? This book is a brilliant and somewhat startling account of how your decisions are massively influenced by the people in your social network. Your happiness, whether you quit smoking, lose or gain weight ... these are all things that YOU can change by changing who you associate with. If human psychology interests you, if you''re in a business where understanding people''s decision making matters, or you just seek self improvement, this book will be one you''ll love reading.
Given the following choice for your level of attractiveness, which would you prefer:

A: You can be about a 6/10 in a group of people who average 4/10.
B: You can be about an 8/10 in a group of people who average 10/10.

Which group would you choose?

If you chose A you are in good company. 75% of people chose A.

I chose B.

My thinking was that if I were in group A, it''s more likely I would let myself go and become a 5. There would be no incentive to improve.

The majority of people surveyed do not share my perspective. Perhaps it''s because the average person isn''t actually aware of just how much the people in their circle impact their life and their decisions?

This book is a brilliant and somewhat startling account of how your decisions are massively influenced by the people in your social network. Your happiness, whether you quit smoking, lose or gain weight ... these are all things that YOU can change by changing who you associate with.

If human psychology interests you, if you''re in a business where understanding people''s decision making matters, or you just seek self improvement, this book will be one you''ll love reading.
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Beeindruckende Erkenntnisse
Reviewed in Germany on December 15, 2010
"Three degrees of influence" - dies ist das zentrale Gesetz sozialer Netzwerke, das uns Nicholas A. Christakis und James H. Fowler in diesem Buch näher bringen. Das bedeutet, dass wir nicht nur einen Einfluss auf das Verhalten und die Gefühle direkter Freunde (Nachbarn,...See more
"Three degrees of influence" - dies ist das zentrale Gesetz sozialer Netzwerke, das uns Nicholas A. Christakis und James H. Fowler in diesem Buch näher bringen. Das bedeutet, dass wir nicht nur einen Einfluss auf das Verhalten und die Gefühle direkter Freunde (Nachbarn, Arbeitskollegen etc.) haben, sondern gleichzeitig auch Menschen beeinflussen, die wir gar nicht persönlich kennen. So lernen wir z.B. unsere Ehepartner oft über diesen "Umweg" kennen: ein Freund (first degree) hat einen Freund (second degree) und dieser wiederum einen Freund (third degree), welcher möglicherweise zu unserem Lebenspartner wird. Stellt man solche sozialen Netzwerke graphisch dar, erkennt man schnell, wie viele Menschen wir über die "three degrees of influence" erreichen und damit beeinflussen können. Denn in sozialen Netzwerken herrscht größte "Ansteckungsgefahr", wie uns die Autoren mit zahlreichen Beispielen erläutern. Ein glücklicher Mensch macht andere Menschen glücklicher (eben auch solche, die er nicht kennt), beeinflusst ihr Wahlverhalten (ja sogar, ob sie überhaupt zur Wahl gehen), ihre Gesundheit - leider auch im Negativen, wie sich z.B. daran zeigt, dass die Häufigkeit von Rückenschmerzen in verschiedenen Industrieländern sehr unterschiedlich verteilt ist. Wie kann man dieses Wissen um soziale Netzwerke nutzen? Auch hierauf liefern die Autoren Antworten. Kampagnen zum Nichtrauchen oder Aufrufe zum Wählen müssen nicht auf hunderttausende Personen abzielen, sondern (viel kostengünstiger) auf solche, die einen zentralen Platz in einem Netzwerk einnehmen, also mit vielen Menschen verbunden sind, welche ebenfalls wieder viele Kontakte haben. Die Autoren liefern also nicht nur spannende Beschreibungen von Forschungsergebnissen, sondern denken auch über ihre Umsetzbarkeit nach. Einzig die Kapitel über soziale Netzwerke wie Facebook liefern wenig neue Erkenntnisse. Ansonsten zeigen die Autoren, wie spannend und nützlich sozialwissenschaftliche Studien sein können.
"Three degrees of influence" - dies ist das zentrale Gesetz sozialer Netzwerke, das uns Nicholas A. Christakis und James H. Fowler in diesem Buch näher bringen. Das bedeutet, dass wir nicht nur einen Einfluss auf das Verhalten und die Gefühle direkter Freunde (Nachbarn, Arbeitskollegen etc.) haben, sondern gleichzeitig auch Menschen beeinflussen, die wir gar nicht persönlich kennen. So lernen wir z.B. unsere Ehepartner oft über diesen "Umweg" kennen: ein Freund (first degree) hat einen Freund (second degree) und dieser wiederum einen Freund (third degree), welcher möglicherweise zu unserem Lebenspartner wird.
Stellt man solche sozialen Netzwerke graphisch dar, erkennt man schnell, wie viele Menschen wir über die "three degrees of influence" erreichen und damit beeinflussen können. Denn in sozialen Netzwerken herrscht größte "Ansteckungsgefahr", wie uns die Autoren mit zahlreichen Beispielen erläutern. Ein glücklicher Mensch macht andere Menschen glücklicher (eben auch solche, die er nicht kennt), beeinflusst ihr Wahlverhalten (ja sogar, ob sie überhaupt zur Wahl gehen), ihre Gesundheit - leider auch im Negativen, wie sich z.B. daran zeigt, dass die Häufigkeit von Rückenschmerzen in verschiedenen Industrieländern sehr unterschiedlich verteilt ist.
Wie kann man dieses Wissen um soziale Netzwerke nutzen? Auch hierauf liefern die Autoren Antworten. Kampagnen zum Nichtrauchen oder Aufrufe zum Wählen müssen nicht auf hunderttausende Personen abzielen, sondern (viel kostengünstiger) auf solche, die einen zentralen Platz in einem Netzwerk einnehmen, also mit vielen Menschen verbunden sind, welche ebenfalls wieder viele Kontakte haben.
Die Autoren liefern also nicht nur spannende Beschreibungen von Forschungsergebnissen, sondern denken auch über ihre Umsetzbarkeit nach. Einzig die Kapitel über soziale Netzwerke wie Facebook liefern wenig neue Erkenntnisse. Ansonsten zeigen die Autoren, wie spannend und nützlich sozialwissenschaftliche Studien sein können.
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