Daily Archives: July 18, 2008

Don’t do what I did- Beta

I have this running joke about how I made life difficult for myself while doing my PhD.

I call it the “DOn’t Do What I Did” brochure.  I mentioned this line today to a research acquaintance and he thought I meant- “Don’t Study what I study.”  So, in an act of reassuring him I am not so egotistical, i produced the beta version of the brochure:

Also, I made a joking reference to “don’t do what I did.” I think you misunderstood me. Life is too short and being a scholar is too important to get worried about turf wars. I welcome our mutual and complimentary interests. I have a running joke about how I am the poster child for how not to do a dissertation.

  • – Don’t do it across an ocean.
  • – Don’t use a method you never studied
  • – Don’t do mixed method.
  • – Don’t have kid(s).
  • – Don’t teach FT while dissertating.

And so on…

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Filed under life, PhD, writing

Indirect Social Influence

SOCIOLOGY: Indirect Social Influence — Denrell 321 (5885): 47 — Science
To learn more about these mechanisms, we need to broaden studies of social influence and belief formation to include the phases of learning and information collection that precede decision-making and judgment.

The above quotation from Science summarizes a brief yet interesting overview of how indirect influence matters.  The gist is that the exposure I have to infomration, as a result of my network connections or position, can bias my “rational” decision-making.  Its not that we are all weak-willed lemmings who do what the joneses do, it s that in the face of difficult to find information, we may rely on information gathered through netwokr ties to make decisions.  And by separating network effects into direct influence on disposition and indirect influence though information gathering, we can better analyze influence.

Fine.  Seems a bit of a round-about way to get there, but I suspect it makes network effects more palatable to economists or game-theory types.

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Filed under economics, Research, Social Networks, sociology