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.
In this summary, you will learn
- Why innovation doesn’t spread like a virus,
- Why people won’t adopt innovations unless they learn about them from various sources, and
- Why people adopt new technology or behavior.
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.