James H. Fowler
|James H. Fowler|
James Fowler at Poptech, October 24, 2009.
Source: Kris Krüg, flickr.
|Born||February 18, 1970|
|Fields||Social network analysis
|Institutions||University of California, San Diego
University of California, Davis
|Alma mater||Harvard University
(1992, 2001, 2003)
Yale University (1997)
|Known for||Obesity contagiousness
Genes and Social Networks
James H. Fowler (born February 18, 1970) is an American social scientist specializing in social networks, cooperation, political participation, and genopolitics (the study of the genetic basis of political behavior). He is currently Professor of Medical Genetics in the School of Medicine and Professor of Political Science in the Division of Social Science at the University of California, San Diego. He was named a 2010 Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.
Fowler earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1992, a master's degree in International Relations from Yale University in 1997, and a Ph.D. in Government from the Harvard University in 2003. He was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador from 1992 to 1994. In 2010, he was named by Foreign Policy magazine to its list of top global thinkers.
Fowler's research centers on social networks. He is best known for his studies of the social spread of obesity, smoking, and happiness in the Framingham Heart Study, but he has also studied the network of legislative cosponsorships in the U.S. Congress and the network of U.S. Supreme Court precedents.
Studies by Nicholas A. Christakis and Fowler suggested a variety of individuals' attributes like obesity, smoking cessation, and happiness rather than being individualistic, are causally correlated by contagion mechanisms that transmit these behaviors over long distances within social networks. A debate over the statistical models used to establish these three degrees of influence findings ensued, but subsequent studies have found evidence of their central claims about behavioral influence and contagion.
In addition to his research on social networks, Fowler has become known for his work on genopolitics, showing that genes influence voting and other forms of political participation. Fowler used twin studies of voter turnout in Los Angeles and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to establish that the decision to vote in the United States has very strong heritability. He has also identified three genes that are associated with voter turnout and partisan attachment, specifically those regulating the serotonin and dopamine systems in the brain via the production of monoamine oxidase, 5HTT, and DRD2.
More recently, he has shown evidence that social networks have a partly genetic basis. In 2010, he published a paper regarding the use of social networks as 'sensors' for forecasting epidemics.
In other research, Fowler is known for his theoretical and experimental work on egalitarianism and the evolution of cooperation, with related work on altruism, overconfidence, and political participation.
Fowler's newest research focuses on Facebook friendship as a predictor of voter mobilization, and the use of the social network medium, to mobilize voters in American elections. Based on a large manipulation of friendship cues in the Facebook social network, Fowler demonstrates that being presented with indications of friends having voted is a strong predictor of individual voting.
In September 2009, Little, Brown & Co. published Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler. Connected draws on previously published and unpublished studies, including the Framingham Heart Study and makes several new conclusions about the influence of social networks on human health and behavior. In Connected, they put forward their "three degrees of influence" rule about human behavior, which theorizes that each person's individual social influence stretches three degrees before it fades out.
The Colbert Report
On February 28, 2008, the Los Angeles Times published an op-ed that summarized Fowler's research showing that Democratic candidates who come on The Colbert Report receive 44% more in campaign donations in the first 30 days after appearing on the show. Colbert pointed out the op-ed on his March 3, 2008 show. Fowler also appeared during the Threatdown on his December 10, 2008 show, describing his work on the spread of happiness in social networks, and again on the January 7th, 2010 show to discuss the sociological impact of social networking.
The Framingham Heart Study Social Network
- Fowler, J. H.; Christakis, N. A (3 January 2009). "Dynamic Spread of Happiness in a Large Social Network: Longitudinal Analysis Over 20 Years in the Framingham Heart Study" (PDF). British Medical Journal 337 (768): a2338. doi:10.1136/bmj.a2338. PMC 2600606. PMID 19056788.
- Christakis, N. A.; Fowler, JH (22 May 2008). "The Collective Dynamics of Smoking in a Large Social Network" (PDF). New England Journal of Medicine 358 (21): 2249–2258. doi:10.1056/NEJMsa0706154. PMC 2822344. PMID 18499567.
- Christakis, N. A.; Fowler, JH (26 July 2007). "The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network Over 32 Years" (PDF). New England Journal of Medicine 357 (4): 370–379. doi:10.1056/NEJMsa066082. PMID 17652652.
- Cacioppo, J. T.; Fowler, JH; Christakis, NA (December 2009). "Alone in the Crowd: The Structure and Spread of Loneliness in a Large Social Network" (PDF). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 97 (6): 977–991. doi:10.1037/a0016076. PMC 2792572. PMID 19968414.
Genes and Politics
- Fowler, J. H.; Schreiber, D (7 November 2008). "Biology, Politics, and the Emerging Science of Human Nature" (PDF). Science 322 (5903): 912–914. doi:10.1126/science.1158188. PMID 18988845.
- Fowler, J. H.; Baker, Laura A.; Dawes, Christopher T. (May 2008). "Genetic Variation in Political Participation" (PDF). American Political Science Review 102 (2): 233–248. doi:10.1017/S0003055408080209.
- Fowler, J. H.; Dawes, Christopher T. (July 2008). "Two Genes Predict Voter Turnout" (PDF). Journal of Politics 70 (3): 579–594. doi:10.1017/S0022381608080638.
- Dawes, C. T.; Fowler, James H. (July 2009). "Partisanship, Voting, and the Dopamine D2 Receptor Gene" (PDF). Journal of Politics 71 (3): 1157–1171. doi:10.1017/S002238160909094X.
Genes and Social Networks
- Fowler, J.H.; Settle, J. E.; Christakis, N. A. (1 February 2011). "Correlated Genotypes in Friendship Networks" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108 (5): 1993–1997. doi:10.1073/pnas.1011687108. PMC 3033315. PMID 21245293.
- Fowler, J. H.; Dawes, C. T.; Christakis, N. A. (10 February 2009). "Model of Genetic Variation in Human Social Networks" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (6): 1720–1724. doi:10.1073/pnas.0806746106. PMC 2644104. PMID 19171900.
Experimental Studies of Cooperation and Egalitarianism
- Cesarini, D.; Dawes, C. T.; Fowler, J. H.; Johannesson, M.; Lichtenstein, P.; Wallace, B. (11 March 2008). "Heritability of Cooperative Behavior in the Trust Game" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105 (10): 3721–3726. doi:10.1073/pnas.0710069105. PMC 2268795. PMID 18316737.
- Dawes, C. T.; Fowler, JH; Johnson, T; McElreath, R; Smirnov, O (12 April 2007). "Egalitarian Motives in Humans" (PDF). Nature 446 (7137): 794–796. doi:10.1038/nature05651. PMID 17429399.
- Fowler, J. H.; Johnson, Tim; Smirnov, Oleg (6 January 2005). "Egalitarian Motive and Altruistic Punishment" (PDF). Nature 433 (7021): E1. doi:10.1038/nature03256. PMID 15637787.
- McDermott, R.; Fowler, James H.; Smirnov, Oleg (April 2008). "On the Evolutionary Origin of Prospect Theory Preferences" (PDF). Journal of Politics 70 (2): 335–350. doi:10.1017/S0022381608080341.
- Johnson, D.D.P.; Fowler, James H. (15 September 2011). "The Evolution of Overconfidence" (PDF). Nature 477: 317–320. doi:10.1038/nature10384. PMID 21921915.
- Fowler, J. H. (10 May 2005). "Altruistic Punishment and the Origin of Cooperation" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 102 (19): 7047–7049. doi:10.1073/pnas.0500938102. PMC 1100778. PMID 15857950.
- Fowler, J. H. (22 September 2005). "Second Order Free Riding Problem Solved" (PDF). Nature 437 (7058): E8. doi:10.1038/nature04201. PMID 16177738.
Altruism and Political Participation
- Fowler, J. H. (August 2006). "Altruism and Turnout" (PDF). Journal of Politics 68 (3): 674–683. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2508.2006.00453.x.
- Fowler, J. H.; Kam, Cindy D. (August 2007). "Beyond the Self: Altruism, Social Identity, and Political Participation" (PDF). Journal of Politics 69 (3): 811–825. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2508.2007.00577.x.
Legislator Social Networks
- Fowler, J. H. (Fall 2006). "Connecting the Congress: A Study of Cosponsorship Networks" (PDF). Political Analysis 14 (4): 456–487. doi:10.1093/pan/mpl002.
- Fowler, J. H. (October 2006). "Legislative Cosponsorship Networks in the U.S. House and Senate" (PDF). Social Networks 28 (4): 454–465. doi:10.1016/j.socnet.2005.11.003.
Voter Social Networks
- Fowler, J. H. (2005). Turnout in a Small World. In Zuckerman, Alan. "Social Logic of Politics". Temple University Press (Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press). pp. 269–287. ISBN 1-59213-148-4.
- Fowler, J. H.; Smirnov, Oleg (January 2005). "Dynamic Parties and Social Turnout: An Agent-Based Model" (PDF). American Journal of Sociology 110 (4): 1070–1094. doi:10.1086/426554.
Network of Supreme Court Precedents
- Fowler, J. H.; Jeon, S (January 2008). "The Authority of Supreme Court Precedent" (PDF). Social Networks 30 (1): 16–30. doi:10.1016/j.socnet.2007.05.001.
- Fowler, J. H.; Johnson, T. R.; Spriggs, J. F.; Jeon, S.; Wahlbeck, P. J. (July 2007). "Network Analysis and the Law: Measuring the Legal Importance of Supreme Court Precedents" (PDF). Political Analysis 15 (3): 324–346. doi:10.1093/pan/mpm011.
- "Foreign Policy Magazine"
- "Seed Salon: Albert-László Barabási and James Fowler". Seed. February 2009.
- "Are Friends And Family Making You Fat?". CBS Evening News. July 25, 2007.
- Kolata, Gina (July 25, 2007). "Study Says Obesity Can Be Contagious". New York Times. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
- Kolata, Gina (May 22, 2008). "Study Finds Big Social Factor in Quitting Smoking". New York Times. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
- "Happiness is Having Happy Friends". NBC Nightly News. December 5, 2008.
- Belluck, Pam (December 5, 2008). "Strangers May Cheer You Up, Study Says". New York Times. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
- "Inside the Beltway". Washington Times. April 13, 2005.
- "In Session: Congress". Washington Post. April 11, 2005.
- "Primary Sources". The Atlantic. December 2005.
- "Statistical Modeling: The Wisdom of Hercules". The Economist. August 25, 2005.
- Christakis, Nicholas A.; Fowler, James H. (2007). "The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network over 32 Years". The New England Journal of Medicine 357: 370–379. doi:10.1056/NEJMsa066082. PMID 17652652.
- Christakis, Nicholas A.; Fowler, James H. (2008). "The Collective Dynamics of Smoking in a Large Social Network". The New England Journal of Medicine 358. doi:10.1056/NEJMsa0706154. PMC 2822344. PMID 18499567.
- Christakis, Nicholas A.; Fowler, James H. (2008). "Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: longitudinal analysis over 20 years in the Framingham Heart Study". British Medical Journal 337 (337): a2338. doi:10.1136/bmj.a2338. PMC 2600606. PMID 19056788.
- Christakis, Nicholas A.; Fowler, James H. (2009). Connected:The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives. Little, Brown and Co. ISBN 978-0316036146.
- Centola, Damon (2010). "The Spread of Behavior in an Online Social Network Experiment". Science 329 (5995): 1194–1197. doi:10.1126/science.1185231.
- Centola, Damon (2011). "An experimental study of homophily in the adoption of health behavior". Science 334 (6060): 1269–1272. doi:10.1126/science.1207055.
- Fowler, James H.; Christakis, Nicholas A. (2010). "Cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107 (12): 5334–5338. doi:10.1073/pnas.0913149107. PMC 2851803. PMID 20212120.
- Aral, Sinan; Walker, Dylan (2011). "Creating Social Contagion Through Viral Product Design: A Randomized Trial of Peer Influence in Networks". Management Science 57 (9): 1623–1639. doi:10.1287/mnsc.1110.1421.
- Biuso, Emily (December 12, 2008). "Eighth Annual Year in Ideas: Genopolitics". New York Times Magazine. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
- "The Biology of Ideology". Wall Street Journal. May 27, 2008.
- "It's the Genes Stupid". New York Times. Sep 4, 2008.
- "The Genetics of Politics". Scientific American. November 2007.
- "Are Politics Rooted in Your Genes?". CNN. February 11, 2008.
- "It’s the Genes, Stupid". New York Times. May 27, 2008.
- Shishkin, Philip (January 27, 2009). "Genes and the Friends You Make". Wall Street Journal.
- Christakis NA, Fowler JH. "Social Network Sensors for Early Detection of Contagious Outbreaks". PLoS ONE 5 (9): e12948. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012948. PMC 2939797. PMID 20856792.
- Highfield, Roger (12 April 2007). "The Robin Hood impulse". The Daily Telegraph (London). p. 8. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
- "Making the Paper: James Fowler". Nature 446 (7137): xiii. 12 April 2007. doi:10.1038/7137xiiia.
- "Why We Need Nosy Parkers". U.S. News and World Report. June 13, 2005.
- "Groups Unite in Dislike of Freeloaders". National Public Radio. April 6, 2006.
- "Evolution of Narcissism: Why We're Overconfident, and Why It Works". National Geographic. September 14, 2011.
- "Political Scientists Convene to Probe and Predict U.S. Elections". Chronicle of Higher Education. September 17, 2004.
- Stossel, Scott (October 4, 2009). "You and Your Friend’s Friend’s Friends". New York Times Book Reivew. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
- http://www.connectedthebook.com/ "Connected The Book" Official Website
- "The Buddy System: How Medical Data Revealed Secret to Health and Happiness". Wired. October 2009.
- Thompson, Clive (September 14, 2009). "Is Happiness Catching?". New York Times Magazine. Retrieved May 5, 2010.
- Fowler, James H. (February 28, 2008). "Sharing the wealthiness". Los Angeles Times.
- Fowler, James H. (July 2008). "The Colbert Bump in Campaign Donations: More Truthful than Truthy" (PDF). PS Political Science & Politics 41 (3): 533–539.
- Personal webpage for James Fowler
- SSRN page with papers by James Fowler
- Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems
- UCSD Political Science Department faculty
- James H. Fowler at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- Video interview in Conversation with Tom Munnecke January 7, 2009
- Peace Corps Wiki article http://www.peacecorpswiki.org/James_Fowler
- Website for Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives http://connectedthebook.com