MIT News just published a profile of the IDE’s Dean Eckles discussing his work. “Studying social networks allows Eckles to tackle significant questions involving, for example, the economic and political effects of social networks, the spread of misinformation, vaccine uptake during the Covid-19 crisis, and other aspects of the formation and shape of social networks.” it says. “For instance, one study he co-authored this summer shows that people who either move between U.S. states, change high schools, or attend college out of state, wind up with more robust social networks, which are strongly associated with greater economic success.”
Another kind of research question is, as Eckles puts it, “How do social networks form and evolve? And what are the consequences of these network structures?” His recent study about social networks expanding as people move around and change schools is one example of research that digs into the core life experiences underlying social networks.
“I’m excited about doing more on how these networks arise and what factors, including everything from personality to public transit, affect their formation,” Eckles says.
Read the full interview here.
Read the research paper here.