The impact of decision making in social networks has gained considerable attention thanks to the work of Nicholas Christakis and the Yale Institute of Network Science. Through years of research in communities and villages from South America to Africa, Christakis and his colleagues have demonstrated the influence of one’s social network in decision making. But how do electronic networks affect decision makers? Do they speed decision making? When people are connected but anonymous, do they change their perceptions or behaviors? New software from the Yale Institute of Network Science will seek more guidance in these and other questions.
Dr. Christakis is a sociologist and physician who conducts research in the area of biosocial science, investigating the biological predicates and consequences of social phenomena. He directs the Human Nature Lab at Yale University, where he is the appointed Sol Goldman Family Professor of Social and Natural Science, and the Co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science. He holds a B.S. from Yale University, an M.D. and M.P.H. from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.