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Social Networks and HealthModels, Methods, and Applications$
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Thomas W. Valente

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195301014

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195301014.001.0001

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Diffusion of Innovations

Diffusion of Innovations

(p.172) 10 Diffusion of Innovations
Social Networks and Health

Thomas W. Valente

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews diffusion of innovations theory which has been the theory that has used network principles and perspectives most extensively. An introduction to the theory and a review of its principles is provided. The chapter then reviewed the 4 major classes of diffusion models (1) integration/opinion leadership, (2) structural models, (3) critical levels, and (4) dynamic models. All four models explicitly account for network diffusion dynamics, but vary in their mathematical rigor and complexity. The chapter also introduced the calculation of infectiousness and susceptibility which dynamically account for adoption behavior and in-degree and out-degree, respectively. Empirical data illustrating network exposure effects are presented as well as the calculation and interpretation of network thresholds. The chapter closes with a brief critique of the theory.

Keywords:   network diffusion, diffusion networks, diffusion of innovations, threshold, infectivity, susceptibility, dynamic models, behavior change

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