The hidden influence of social networks: Nicholas Christakis on TED.com

Posted by: Shanna Carpenter

We’re all embedded in vast social networks of friends, family, co-workers and more. Nicholas Christakis tracks how a wide variety of traits — from happiness to obesity — can spread from person to person, showing how your location in the network might impact your life in ways you don’t even know. (Recorded at TED2010, February 2010 in Long Beach, CA. Duration: 18:14)

Watch Nicholas Christakis’ talk on TED.com, where you can download this TEDTalk, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances from our archive of 600+ TEDTalks.

Comments (9)

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  • Stephan ten Kate commented on Oct 11 2010

    Really interesting video. I already have some knowledge (and see the value of) social network analysis, but this video introduces it to a broad audience very nicely.

  • Jim Murdoch commented on May 20 2010

    This is very true. In my own experience I had to sever my network (and it partially severed itself from me) in order to distance myself from gross negativity. It has taken time to rebuild a replacement network but it has gradually taken form. This has greatly been aided by the Internet’s world of social networks. I found this talk very relevant in explaining human tribal behaviour, even if that tribe is only 4 or 5 strong.

  • Robert Pental commented on May 14 2010

    I found this subject matter most interesting. Especially since it would appear to be something new yet very old. For it is not for us to choose how to be a dot but rather what we put into the line that rises to be noticed.

  • Mike Addison commented on May 11 2010

    I love his introduction to super-organisms! Excellent talk!

  • precy panuncillon commented on May 11 2010

    I enjoy this talk. It is a remider for me to choose my set of friends well. Social networking truly expands to all walks of life. it has its own advantages and disadvantages.

  • Alexander Ververis commented on May 10 2010

    I loved this talk. It made me think of the quote “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” by Jim Rohn. Other successful people have known this, most personally my dad. He always reminded me to choose my friends wisely, for it is from them you will learn most. He would also be fast to point out that the speaker is smart and therefore Greek (without looking at his name ;-) Of course, this talk expands upon this and reveals the subtle influences people in social groups have on one another. I really enjoyed this! Thank you.