NEJM — The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network over 32 Years

This bizarre but apparently rigorous study makes use of social network analysis to demonstrate that obesity is, to some extent, socially transmitted. Between mutual male friends the risk of obesity increases by 100% if one becomes obese, with smaller effects shown with different ties and different gender mixes (and none at all due to geographic proximity).
I’d be interested to explore whether learning is also contagious. Intuitively, it seems obvious that it must be. And, if it is, I’d like to explore ways to make it more virulent, and how we can more effectively overcome resistance to infection.
Created:Thu, 26 Jul 2007 22:58:13 GMT

Posted: July 26, 2007, 4:58 pm

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor and Associate Dean, Learning & Assessment, at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology, and I teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems. I am a proud Canadian, though I was born in the UK. I am married, with two grown-up children, and three growing-up grandchildren. We all live in beautiful Vancouver.

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