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The Network Contagion Research Institute
Whether you’re looking to understand a virus, or you want to be able to detect it before you get sick, this research institute will give you the information you need. And, the best part is, it’s free!
Among the myriad of research centers vying for your attention, the Network Contagion Research Institute, or NCRI, isn’t exactly known for its scientific research, but rather its advocacy. The organization focuses on identifying and preventing the spread of misinformation. The organization also has a few other projects under its belt. One of its more recent efforts is a white paper that details how social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been used as weapons in the war against information.
The network is also home to an impressively diverse team. The research group has experts in neuroscience, psychology, economics, mathematics and social science, but the real star is CEO Adam Sohn, a former research fellow at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism. As a founding member of NCRI, Sohn was instrumental in the development of the organization’s white paper.
Using statistical inference, a stochastic actor-oriented model is developed to model the behavior of actors over time. It assumes that the underlying time is continuous and that the actors control their own behavior.
The model allows for specification of the hypotheses and principles of social contagion. In addition to being able to account for time-varying variables, the model also allows for the specification of actor attributes. The configuration of actors can be used to account for the entanglement of processes.
The model also allows for the identification of contagion effects by randomly assigning alters to treatment conditions or by randomly assigning alters to treatment conditions. This technique enables identification of contagion effects through observation of the alters’ behavior.
The model also enables the estimation of the contagion/influence process using estimated latent social positions as a proxy for the unobserved variable. This method can be applied to the estimation of the contagion/influence processes in additive influence models.
Results of studies
Using scaled data analysis, the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI) tracks an epidemic of virtual deception, hate, and distrust. They characterize this infection as a virus. NCRI researchers map the frequency of terms on various platforms and correlate patterns with real-world events. The NCRI also tracks harmful politics as an ideological disease.
Social contagion is the involuntary “catching” of attitudes, behaviors, or other factors. It can be behavioral or criminal. The term has been used to describe many social actions since the 1800s. It has been studied extensively in the criminal justice field, but has had limited applications in education.
In education, social contagion is found at various levels, including between teachers and students. Students’ academic engagement is influenced by their friends. Likewise, teachers’ academic engagement is influenced by their students.
Among the many awards and accolades handed out at the recent OSMOSIScon conference, the Network Contagion Research Institute has nailed the trifecta. For starters, the organization has a well-deserved reputation for producing the highest quality social media and misinformation analysis. This type of intelligence translates into tangible benefits for the company’s many clientele, which includes government agencies, private firms, and public sector organizations. The Network’s research and development division is tasked with identifying and mitigating threats to public safety and public order through the application of cutting edge technology. The organization also operates a social media intelligence program that provides timely and accurate information to policymakers and industry executives. This is not to be underestimated in light of the slew of high-profile attacks on public institutions of all stripes.
Among the many references to network contagion research institute, one could mention an article that describes the autologistic actor attribute model, or ALAAM. This model is an alternative to traditional network autocorrelation models, which associate social contagion with one parameter.
Autologistic actor attribute models account for the network of social relations and the possibility of nonindividual components. They can characterize social contagion in more sophisticated ways. Originally developed for social selection, these models map onto the micro-structural features of empirical behavioral data.
ALAAMs are ideal for modeling social contagion because they are flexible and do not impose theoretically restrictive assumptions of statistical independence. They allow for the specification of multiple parameters, which may represent competing hypotheses of social contagion. They also allow for rich qualitative insight into social contagion mechanisms.