Network theory: basic errors

As regular readers will know, we're big fans of the application of network theory to understanding human behaviour – as Paul Ormerod pointed out here, the influence on our behaviour of the networks in which we live is likely to be significantly greater than any of the cognitive quirks that the psychologists and Behavioural economists are obsessed by. 

However, there are a number of common basic errors in applying network theory to human phenomenon which it's worth watching out for.

For example, I was prompted in the aftemath of Davos to re-read this piece from New Scientist about how a small number of financial institutions are much more "influential" than others over the global economy – strictly speaking they may well be hyper-connected in the period covered by the data but connected is not influential.

Potentially influential but not actually so. 

Let's be careful out there!

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