Summary of The Truth About Behavioral Change

Looking for the article?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 5 minutes.

The Truth About Behavioral Change summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • Analytical
  • Eye Opening
  • Concrete Examples


Knowing about a new service or technology won’t make people adopt it. Would you bother creating a Facebook account or learning the ins and outs of a new software tool if nobody else within your close circle was using the social platform or computer program? In an excerpt from his book, How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagions, social scientist Damon Centola convincingly demonstrates that people’s networks of acquaintances – rather than close friends – matter most in spreading ideas or technology. Centola’s highly informative article is a must-read for anyone interested in the diffusion of innovation.

About the Author

Damon Centola is an associate professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.



Despite common misperceptions, Twitter didn’t become the world’s largest communication platform by going viral. Just learning about the platform’s existence didn’t prompt people to start using it. Rather, Twitter grew incrementally, spreading from one social circle to the next. Twitter’s growth pattern was one of “complex contagion” rather than simple, or viral, contagion.

The distinction is relevant for organizations that want employees to embrace new behavior patterns or customers to adopt a new product. Information, like a virus, spreads through simple contagion...

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

Update: Russian Interference in 2016 US Election, Bots, & Misinformation
Domino's Atoned for Its Crimes Against Pizza and Built a $9 Billion Empire
We Analyzed 100 Million Headlines. Here's What We Learned (New Research)
What Facebook Did to American Democracy
3 Dark Trends That Could Destroy the Web
How to Fix Facebook – Before It Fixes Us

Related Channels

Comment on this summary