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The Social-Network Illusion

Network scientists have discovered how social networks can create the illusion that something is common when it is actually rare.  Statisticians have known about the paradoxical nature of social networks for some time such as the friendship paradox: on average your friends will have more friends than you do.  A related paradox called “the majority illusion”  is the phenomenon in which an individual can observe a behavior or attribute in most of his or her friends, even though it is rare in the network as a whole.  This research may be useful for helping students with 8th Commandment assessments about social behavior, claims about culture shifts, and how they perceive their digital and tangible world.

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