Ever wondered why some ideas spread and others don’t ? Well MIT Professor Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland’s new book “Social Physics: How Good Ideas Spread — The Lessons from a New Science,” seeks to answer just that. The theory examines the interplay between exploration and engagement. Unsurprisingly he discovers that levels of engagement, face to face interactions and connections to multiple networks are conducive to the social ‘habits’ that nurture and grow ideas. Importantly his findings are quantitative.
“We have enough data to take all of these theories about people and innovation and good decision-making and make them quantitative,” Pentland says. “And when you do that, you find that there are some reasonably simple principles that account for 80, 90 percent of the variance in some cases.”
Another great contribution to the behavioural economics field – Pentland is worth reading because it is quantitatively robust- using the massive opportunity that access to networked Big Data provides.