This course will be taught by Dr. Lynette Shaw and will be held online twice per week, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am-1:00pm "In this class, we examine how interdependent behaviors of individuals can lead to some surprising and unexpected social outcomes. We will explore both theoretical models and empirical applications of social dynamics, including sexual networks and marriage markets, the formation and transformation of neighborhoods, the success or failure of social movements, and the diffusion of innovation."
Registration now open.
Class size will be limited to 30.
Seven weeks July 1 - August 18, 2020
There are many situations in which how we behave depends on the behavior of others. We can be influenced by our friends and also by complete strangers. Social influence may be trivial and fleeting, or enduring and highly consequential. For example, whom a person dates or marries depends on both her attraction to potential suitors as well as the characteristics and preferences of the competition. Similarly, racially integrated neighborhoods often end up completely segregated due to the domino effect produced by the out-migration of a few less tolerant whites.
During the academic term, students will be required to write three short papers and complete a set of laboratory exercises. Student participation counts for a significant portion of the total grade.
The students will write three 5-10 page papers for the class. They will also complete a series of lab exercises that are designed to illustrate the various applications of interdependent behavior that we discuss in class (e.g., networks, prisoner's dilemma, tipping points, etc.). Students will learn basic programming skills in the lab. They will also build simple, virtual worlds, and then using those worlds to perform different experiments about the relationship between individual behavior and social dynamics.