Ohio State nav bar

Information, Diffusion Dynamics, and Public Crisis Management

Skyler Cranmer

Primary Investigator:

Skyler J. Cranmer, Ph.D

College of Arts and Sciences- Policitcal Science
David Sivakoff

Steam Collaborator:

David Sivokoff, Ph.D-Assitant Professor

College of Arts and Sciences- Statistics 


  1. Conduct a mobile lab-based experiment to understnd how individuals consume, process, and share information related to disease.
  2. Understanding how social networks influence the flow of information and how official communications from public health entities compete with socially transmitted beliefs. 


This project will study participants’ knowledge about Hepatitis C/Ebola/ HIV: its symptoms, how it spreads, the health consequences of contracting it, and what can be done to stop its further spread. The experiment will be conducted in a mobile lab in such a way that participants will be placed in a social network during the experiment, asking them to communicate their beliefs to one another during the experiment. The project aims to test the hypothesis that beliefs about Hepatitis C/Ebola/HIV are socially influenced by the beliefs of others to whom the participant is con- nected through their social network.

Participants will be recruited from a variety of existing small groups, rang- ing from on-campus teams and clubs at OSU to community groups that  may be at particularly high risk of contracting one of the diseases under study. Thus, team members will know each other in the real world and enter the study with real social networks. For a group entering the study, its members will be surveyed about (a) their personal characteristics and (b)  their social network within the group to dramatically increases the lev- el of realism involved.

Noteable Achievements: 

Intended Results- Will help public health organizations understand how much information is needed to stop spread of misinformation about diseases and foster spread of accurate information.