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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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(p.81) 5 Centrality
Social Networks and Health

Thomas W. Valente

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides background on the calculation, interpretation, and uses of various measures designed to determine which nodes occupy the center of a network. The chapter focuses on the three most common centrality measures developed by Freeman (1979): degree, closeness, and betweenness. Other centrality measures are also listed. The distinction between centrality and centralization is made and extent of correlation among centrality measures reported. The chapter reviewed how each of these centrality measures might function in the diffusion of innovations and behavior change and discussed the roles of opinion leaders in the behavior change process.

Keywords:   network centrality, opinion leaders, centralization

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