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The social contagion hypothesis: comment on ‘Social contagion theory: examining dynamic social networks and human behavior’



I reflect on the statistical methods of the Christakis–Fowler studies on network-based contagion of traits by checking the sensitivity of these kinds of results to various alternate specifications and generative mechanisms. Despite the honest efforts of all involved, I remain pessimistic about establishing whether binary health outcomes or product adoptions are contagious if the evidence comes from simultaneously observed data. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.