Students’ social interactions and daily routines to make predictions about freshman retention

Sudha Ram’s Smart Campus research tracks students’ social interactions and daily routines via their CatCard usage — and leverages that information to make predictions about freshman retention. The goal of Ram’s Smart Campus research is to help educational institutions repurpose the data already being captured from student ID cards to identify those most at risk for not returning after their first year of college.
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Similar neural responses predict friendship

By Carolyn Parkinson, Adam M. Kleinbaum, & Thalia Wheatley

Human social networks are overwhelmingly homophilous: individuals tend to befriend others who are similar to them in terms of a range of physical attributes (e.g., age, gender). Do similarities among friends reflect deeper similarities in how we perceive, interpret, and respond to the world?… Read the rest

Social influence and discourse similarity networks in workgroups

by Johanne Saint-Charles and Pierre Mongeau

Adopting a socio-semantic perspective, this study aims to verify the relation between social influence and discourse similarity networks in workgroups and explore its modification over time. Data consist of video transcripts of 45, 3-h group meetings and weekly sociometric questionnaires.… Read the rest

Population structured by witchcraft beliefs

Anthropologists have long argued that fear of victimization through witchcraft accusations promotes cooperation in small-scale societies. Others have argued that witchcraft beliefs undermine trust and therefore reduce social cohesion. However, there are very few, if any, quantified empirical examples demonstrating how witchcraft labels can structure cooperation in real human communities.… Read the rest

Scale-free Networks Are Rare

Recently Aaron Clauset and his colleague share their new study: “Scale-free networks are rare”. In this study, they found scale-free network structure is not so prevalent based on their statistical analyses of almost 1000 network datasets across different domains. In particular, their results indicate only 4% of the datasets showing the strongest-possible evidence of scale-free structure and 52% demonstrating the weakest-possible evidence.… Read the rest

A Mechanistic Model of Human Network Recall

Recently, Omodei, Brashears, and Arenas published a paper about describing a mechanistic model of human network recall and demonstrate its sufficiency for capturing human recall behavior based on experimental data. They found that human recall is based on accurate recall of a hub of high degree actors and also uses compression heuristics (i.e., schemata simplifying the encoding and recall of social information) for both structural and affective information.… Read the rest

A manifesto for reproducible science

Improving the reliability and efficiency of scientific research will increase the credibility of the published scientific literature and accelerate discovery. Here we argue for the adoption of measures to optimize key elements of the scientific process: methods, reporting and dissemination, reproducibility, evaluation and incentives.

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The Social Bow Tie

A recent study investigated a new way to identify the strength of ties. Using two different large datasets, the researchers found that for each pair of individuals, a bow tie structure of the network itself is strongly associated with the strength of ties between them that the researchers measure in other ways.… Read the rest