Damon Centola is The Elihu Katz Professor of Communication, Sociology, and Engineering in the Annenberg School for Communication, where he is Director of the Network Dynamics Group and Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.

His research addresses social networks and behavior change. His work has been published across several disciplines in journals such as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, American Journal of Sociology, and Journal of Statistical Physics. Centola received the American Sociological Association’s Award for Outstanding Research in Mathematical Sociology in 2006, 2009, and 2011; the Goodman Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Sociological Methodology in 2011; the James Coleman Award for Outstanding Research in Rationality and Society in 2017; and the Harrison White Award for Outstanding Scholarly Book in 2019. He was a developer of the NetLogo agent based modeling environment, and was awarded a U.S. Patent for inventing a method to promote diffusion in online networks. He is a member of the Sci Foo community and Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Centola’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Facebook, the National Institutes of Health, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, and the Hewlett Foundation. He is a series editor for Princeton University Press, and the author of How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions (Princeton University Press, 2018), and Change: How to Make Big Things Happen (Little, Brown, & Co., 2021).

Before coming to Penn, Centola was an Assistant Professor at M.I.T. and a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow at Harvard University. His speaking and consulting clients include Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Cigna, the Smithsonian Institution, the American Heart Association, the National Academies, the U.S. Army, and the NBA. Popular accounts of his work have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Wired, TIME, The Atlantic, Scientific American, and CNN.

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Cited By

Year

The spread of behavior in an online social network experiment

2420

2010

Complex contagions and the weakness of long ties

1616

2007

An experimental study of homophily in the adoption of health behavior

637

2011

Homophily, cultural drift, and the co-evolution of cultural groups

479

2007

The emperor’s dilemma: A computational model of self-enforcing norms

370

2005

Cascade dynamics of complex propagation

313

2007

Experimental evidence for tipping points in social convention

284

2018

How behavior spreads

278

2018

Establishing a social network

222

2014

The spontaneous emergence of conventions: An experimental study of cultural evolution

205

2015

Network dynamics of social influence in the wisdom of crowds

204

2017

Social media and the science of health behavior

184

2013

The social origins of networks and diffusion

179

2015

Efficacy and causal mechanism of an online social media intervention to increase physical activity: Results of a randomized controlled trial

142

2015

Support or competition? How online social networks increase physical activity: A randomized controlled trial

135

2016

Homophily, networks, and critical mass: Solving the start-up problem in large group collective action

135

2013

Choosing your network: Social preferences in an online health community

120

2015

Complex contagions: A decade in review

90

2018

Social learning and partisan bias in the interpretation of climate trends

82

2018

The wisdom of partisan crowds

56

2019

Clinician peer networks remove race and gender bias

A University of Pennsylvania study published in Nature Communications offers striking evidence that network science can be used to remove race and gender bias in clinical settings. The study, led by Professor Damon Centola of the Annenberg School for Communication and the School of Engineering and Applied Science, offers an effective new way to ensure safer, more equitable health care for women and minorities through managing clinician peer networks.
15-Nov-2021 01:50:56 PM EST

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