Nicholas Christakis: Friends are like us

As friends, people choose other people who remind them of themselves.

We also create communities that reinforce our tendency to choose friends who are similar to ourselves.

For example, if our friends are overweight, we have a 45% likelihood of being overweight. If the friends of our friends are overweight, our probability of being overweight increases by 20%.

Researchers have also proven that happy people are often surrounded by a lot of happy people and unhappy people are surrounded by unhappy people. This can be a sign of friend selection and also of how emotions spread in networks.

The power of networks is also visible in an experiment performed by researchers that measured the spreading of friendly acts in a network. When people were treated positively, they were friendly to others as well. A chain reaction can mean that treatment of a person may depend on how two people that are complete strangers to him/her have treated each other.

Watch Christaki's talk here.

  • Published:
  • Updated:
URL copied!

Read more news

Kuvassa näkyy Kauppakorkeakoulun uuden rakennuksen Arvo-ravintola.
Campus Published:

Campus restaurants’ opening hours during the summer 2022

Campus restaurants have reduced opening hours in the summer.
Rulpa_Anna Aleksejeva in WantedDesign
Research & Art Published:

Wood Studio meets with success in WantedDesign New York

Aalto University takes part in the international WantedDesign online exhibition 2022. WantedDesign is a platform for creative talent, and it organises digital exhibitions featuring great design from around the world.
The design space in the virtual reality task
Press releases, Research & Art Published:

Designers find better solutions with computer assistance, but sacrifice creative touch

Computer-guided design can propose more solutions and balance out human inexperience and design fixation
A portrait of Maria Sammalkorpi.
Research & Art Published:

Ascending Investigator Grant from Novo Nordisk Foundation awarded to Maria Sammalkorpi for computational biosynthetic materials research

Senior Scientist Maria Sammalkorpi has been awarded the highly competed Ascending Investigator 2022 Grant from Novo Nordisk Foundation for a total of ca 9 million DKK (1.2M€).