Social networks like Facebook reveal a lot about the power of recommendations by friends and family members. Scholars who study those networks note that such recommendations can have more influence on people’s behavior than, say, traditional advertising. A similar effect applies to the building of social movements: People are far more likely to join a cause if someone they know asks them to join it. That’s a well-established finding, says Stefaan Walgrave, a professor of political science at the…

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