Identifying (Causal) Influence in Social (Media) Networks

Friday, May 11, 2012 - 9:00am - 10:00am
Keller 3-180
Sinan Aral (New York University)
Many of us are interested in whether networks matter. Whether in the
spread of disease, the diffusion of information, the propagation of
social contagions, the effectiveness of viral marketing, or the
magnitude of peer effects in a variety of settings, a key problem is
understanding whether and when the statistical relationships we
observe can be interpreted causally. Sinan will review what we know
and where research might go with respect to identifying causal peer
influence in social networks and the importance of causal inference
for policy. He will provide three examples from large scale
observational and experimental studies in online social media