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James Fowler

Title(s)Professor, Medicine
SchoolHealth Sciences
Phone858-534-6807
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    James H. Fowler earned a PhD from Harvard in 2003 and is currently a Professor at the University of California, San Diego. His work lies at the intersection of the natural and social sciences, with a focus on social networks, behavior, evolution, politics, genetics, and big data.

    James was recently named a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, one of Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers, TechCrunch's Top 20 Most Innovative People, Politico's 50 Key Thinkers, Doers, and Dreamers, and Most Original Thinker of the year by The McLaughlin Group. He has also appeared on The Colbert Report.

    His research has been featured in numerous best-of lists including New York Times Magazine's Year in Ideas, Time's Year in Medicine, Discover Magazine's Year in Science, and Harvard Business Review's Breakthrough Business Ideas.

    Together with Nicholas Christakis, James wrote a book on social networks for a general audience called Connected. Winner of a Books for a Better Life Award, it has been translated into twenty languages, named an Editor's Choice by the New York Times Book Review, and featured in Wired, Oprah's Reading Guide, Business Week's Best Books of the Year, and a cover story in New York Times Magazine.

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    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Nishi A, Alexander M, Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Assortative Mating at Loci Under Recent Natural Selection in Humans. Biosystems. 2019 Oct 01; 104040. PMID: 31585150.
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    2. Jose R, Fowler JH, Raj A. Political Differences in American Reports of Sexual Harassment and Assault. J Interpers Violence. 2019 Mar 22; 886260519835003. PMID: 30898004.
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    3. Baylis P, Obradovich N, Kryvasheyeu Y, Chen H, Coviello L, Moro E, Cebrian M, Fowler JH. Weather impacts expressed sentiment. PLoS One. 2018; 13(4):e0195750. PMID: 29694424.
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    4. Marquez B, Norman GJ, Fowler JH, Gans KM, Marcus BH. Weight and weight control behaviors of Latinas and their social ties. Health Psychol. 2018 04; 37(4):318-325. PMID: 29389157.
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    5. Van Cise AM, Martien KK, Mahaffy SD, Baird RW, Webster DL, Fowler JH, Oleson EM, Morin PA. Familial social structure and socially driven genetic differentiation in Hawaiian short-finned pilot whales. Mol Ecol. 2017 Dec; 26(23):6730-6741. PMID: 29087034.
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    6. Radin JM, Shaffer RA, Lindsay SP, Araneta MRG, Raman R, Fowler JH. International chicken trade and increased risk for introducing or reintroducing highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) to uninfected countries. Infect Dis Model. 2017 Nov; 2(4):412-418. PMID: 30137719.
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    7. Obradovich N, Migliorini R, Mednick SC, Fowler JH. Nighttime temperature and human sleep loss in a changing climate. Sci Adv. 2017 May; 3(5):e1601555. PMID: 28560320.
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    8. Jones JJ, Bond RM, Bakshy E, Eckles D, Fowler JH. Social influence and political mobilization: Further evidence from a randomized experiment in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. PLoS One. 2017; 12(4):e0173851. PMID: 28445476.
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    9. Shakya HB, Stafford D, Hughes DA, Keegan T, Negron R, Broome J, McKnight M, Nicoll L, Nelson J, Iriarte E, Ordonez M, Airoldi E, Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Exploiting social influence to magnify population-level behaviour change in maternal and child health: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial of network targeting algorithms in rural Honduras. BMJ Open. 2017 03 13; 7(3):e012996. PMID: 28289044.
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    10. Fu F, Christakis NA, Fowler JH. Dueling biological and social contagions. Sci Rep. 2017 03 02; 7:43634. PMID: 28252663.
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    11. Merchant G, Weibel N, Pina L, Griswold WG, Fowler JH, Ayala GX, Gallo LC, Hollan J, Patrick K. Face-to-Face and Online Networks: College Students' Experiences in a Weight-Loss Trial. J Health Commun. 2017 01; 22(1):75-83. PMID: 28060581.
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    12. Hobbs WR, Burke M, Christakis NA, Fowler JH. Online social integration is associated with reduced mortality risk. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 11 15; 113(46):12980-12984. PMID: 27799553.
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    13. Glowacki L, Isakov A, Wrangham RW, McDermott R, Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Formation of raiding parties for intergroup violence is mediated by social network structure. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 10 25; 113(43):12114-12119. PMID: 27790996.
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    14. Shakya HB, Christakis NA, Fowler JH. An exploratory comparison of name generator content: Data from rural India. Soc Networks. 2017 Jan; 48:157-168. PMID: 28845086.
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    15. Kim DA, Benjamin EJ, Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Social connectedness is associated with fibrinogen level in a human social network. Proc Biol Sci. 2016 08 31; 283(1837). PMID: 27559060.
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    16. Leas EC, Althouse BM, Dredze M, Obradovich N, Fowler JH, Noar SM, Allem JP, Ayers JW. Big Data Sensors of Organic Advocacy: The Case of Leonardo DiCaprio and Climate Change. PLoS One. 2016; 11(8):e0159885. PMID: 27482907.
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    17. Godino JG, Merchant G, Norman GJ, Donohue MC, Marshall SJ, Fowler JH, Calfas KJ, Huang JS, Rock CL, Griswold WG, Gupta A, Raab F, Fogg BJ, Robinson TN, Patrick K. Using social and mobile tools for weight loss in overweight and obese young adults (Project SMART): a 2 year, parallel-group, randomised, controlled trial. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2016 09; 4(9):747-755. PMID: 27426247.
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    18. Shakya HB, Hughes DA, Stafford D, Christakis NA, Fowler JH, Silverman JG. Intimate partner violence norms cluster within households: an observational social network study in rural Honduras. BMC Public Health. 2016 Mar 08; 16:233. PMID: 26951919.
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    19. Shakya HB, Christakis NA, Fowler JH. Self-comparisons as motivators for healthy behavior. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Dec; 23(12):2477-84. PMID: 26465785.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Kim DA, Hwong AR, Stafford D, Hughes DA, O'Malley AJ, Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Social network targeting to maximise population behaviour change: a cluster randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2015 Jul 11; 386(9989):145-53. PMID: 25952354.
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    21. Gupta A, Calfas KJ, Marshall SJ, Robinson TN, Rock CL, Huang JS, Epstein-Corbin M, Servetas C, Donohue MC, Norman GJ, Raab F, Merchant G, Fowler JH, Griswold WG, Fogg BJ, Patrick K. Clinical trial management of participant recruitment, enrollment, engagement, and retention in the SMART study using a Marketing and Information Technology (MARKIT) model. Contemp Clin Trials. 2015 May; 42:185-95. PMID: 25866383.
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    22. LeVeck BL, Hughes DA, Fowler JH, Hafner-Burton E, Victor DG. The role of self-interest in elite bargaining. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Dec 30; 111(52):18536-41. PMID: 25512497.
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    23. Rand DG, Nowak MA, Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Static network structure can stabilize human cooperation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Dec 02; 111(48):17093-8. PMID: 25404308.
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    24. Christakis NA, Fowler JH. Friendship and natural selection. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jul 22; 111 Suppl 3:10796-801. PMID: 25024208.
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    25. Merchant G, Weibel N, Patrick K, Fowler JH, Norman GJ, Gupta A, Servetas C, Calfas K, Raste K, Pina L, Donohue M, Griswold WG, Marshall S. Click "like" to change your behavior: a mixed methods study of college students' exposure to and engagement with Facebook content designed for weight loss. J Med Internet Res. 2014 Jun 24; 16(6):e158. PMID: 24964294.
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    26. Garcia-Herranz M, Moro E, Cebrian M, Christakis NA, Fowler JH. Using friends as sensors to detect global-scale contagious outbreaks. PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e92413. PMID: 24718030.
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    27. Davila EP, Kolodziejczyk JK, Norman GJ, Calfas K, Huang JS, Rock CL, Griswold W, Fowler JH, Marshall SJ, Gupta A, Patrick K. Relationships between depression, gender, and unhealthy weight loss practices among overweight or obese college students. Eat Behav. 2014 Apr; 15(2):271-4. PMID: 24854817.
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    28. Shakya HB, Christakis NA, Fowler JH. Association between social network communities and health behavior: an observational sociocentric network study of latrine ownership in rural India. Am J Public Health. 2014 May; 104(5):930-7. PMID: 24625175.
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    29. Shakya HB, Christakis NA, Fowler JH. Social network predictors of latrine ownership. Soc Sci Med. 2015 Jan; 125:129-38. PMID: 24726688.
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    30. Coviello L, Sohn Y, Kramer AD, Marlow C, Franceschetti M, Christakis NA, Fowler JH. Detecting emotional contagion in massive social networks. PLoS One. 2014; 9(3):e90315. PMID: 24621792.
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    31. Abdallah S, Sayed R, Rahwan I, Leveck BL, Cebrian M, Rutherford A, Fowler JH. Corruption drives the emergence of civil society. J R Soc Interface. 2014 Apr 06; 11(93):20131044. PMID: 24478283.
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    32. Hobbs WR, Fowler JH. Prediction of mortality using on-line, self-reported health data: empirical test of the RealAge score. PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e86385. PMID: 24466068.
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    33. Lee JJ, Sohn Y, Fowler JH. Emotion regulation as the foundation of political attitudes: does reappraisal decrease support for conservative policies? PLoS One. 2013; 8(12):e83143. PMID: 24367583.
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    34. Patrick K, Marshall SJ, Davila EP, Kolodziejczyk JK, Fowler JH, Calfas KJ, Huang JS, Rock CL, Griswold WG, Gupta A, Merchant G, Norman GJ, Raab F, Donohue MC, Fogg BJ, Robinson TN. Design and implementation of a randomized controlled social and mobile weight loss trial for young adults (project SMART). Contemp Clin Trials. 2014 Jan; 37(1):10-8. PMID: 24215774.
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    35. Lo A, Fowler JH. Social science: The mathematics of murder. Nature. 2013 Sep 12; 501(7466):170-1. PMID: 24025834.
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    36. Brakefield TA, Mednick SC, Wilson HW, De Neve JE, Christakis NA, Fowler JH. Same-sex sexual attraction does not spread in adolescent social networks. Arch Sex Behav. 2014 Feb; 43(2):335-44. PMID: 23842784.
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    37. Johnson DD, Fowler JH. Complexity and simplicity in the evolution of decision-making biases. Trends Ecol Evol. 2013 Aug; 28(8):446-7. PMID: 23816267.
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    38. Jordan JJ, Rand DG, Arbesman S, Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Contagion of Cooperation in Static and Fluid Social Networks. PLoS One. 2013; 8(6):e66199. PMID: 23840422.
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    39. Johnson DD, Blumstein DT, Fowler JH, Haselton MG. The evolution of error: error management, cognitive constraints, and adaptive decision-making biases. Trends Ecol Evol. 2013 Aug; 28(8):474-81. PMID: 23787087.
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    40. Rudolph AE, Crawford ND, Latkin C, Fowler JH, Fuller CM. Individual and neighborhood correlates of membership in drug using networks with a higher prevalence of HIV in New York City (2006-2009). Ann Epidemiol. 2013 May; 23(5):267-74. PMID: 23523090.
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    41. Schreiber D, Fonzo G, Simmons AN, Dawes CT, Flagan T, Fowler JH, Paulus MP. Red brain, blue brain: evaluative processes differ in Democrats and Republicans. PLoS One. 2013; 8(2):e52970. PMID: 23418419.
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    42. Jones JJ, Bond RM, Fariss CJ, Settle JE, Kramer AD, Marlow C, Fowler JH. Yahtzee: an anonymized group level matching procedure. PLoS One. 2013; 8(2):e55760. PMID: 23441156.
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    43. Fowler JH, Christakis NA. A random world is a fair world. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Feb 12; 110(7):2440-1. PMID: 23359683.
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    44. Jones JJ, Settle JE, Bond RM, Fariss CJ, Marlow C, Fowler JH. Inferring tie strength from online directed behavior. PLoS One. 2013; 8(1):e52168. PMID: 23300964.
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    45. Cebrian M, Torres MR, Huerta R, Fowler JH. Violent extremist group ecologies under stress. Sci Rep. 2013; 3:1544. PMID: 23536118.
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    46. Shirado H, Fu F, Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Quality versus quantity of social ties in experimental cooperative networks. Nat Commun. 2013; 4:2814. PMID: 24226079.
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    47. Shakya HB, Christakis NA, Fowler JH. Parental influence on substance use in adolescent social networks. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012 Dec; 166(12):1132-9. PMID: 23045157.
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    48. Fu F, Nowak MA, Christakis NA, Fowler JH. The evolution of homophily. Sci Rep. 2012; 2:845. PMID: 23150792.
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    49. De Neve JE, Christakis NA, Fowler JH, Frey BS. Genes, Economics, and Happiness. J Neurosci Psychol Econ. 2012 Nov; 5(4). PMID: 24349601.
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    50. Bond RM, Fariss CJ, Jones JJ, Kramer AD, Marlow C, Settle JE, Fowler JH. A 61-million-person experiment in social influence and political mobilization. Nature. 2012 Sep 13; 489(7415):295-8. PMID: 22972300.
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    51. De Neve JE, Mikhaylov S, Dawes CT, Christakis NA, Fowler JH. Born to Lead? A Twin Design and Genetic Association Study of Leadership Role Occupancy. Leadersh Q. 2013 Feb; 24(1):45-60. PMID: 23459689.
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    52. Christakis NA, Fowler JH. Social contagion theory: examining dynamic social networks and human behavior. Stat Med. 2013 Feb 20; 32(4):556-77. PMID: 22711416.
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    53. O'Malley AJ, Arbesman S, Steiger DM, Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Egocentric social network structure, health, and pro-social behaviors in a national panel study of Americans. PLoS One. 2012; 7(5):e36250. PMID: 22615760.
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    54. Dawes CT, Loewen PJ, Schreiber D, Simmons AN, Flagan T, McElreath R, Bokemper SE, Fowler JH, Paulus MP. Neural basis of egalitarian behavior. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Apr 24; 109(17):6479-83. PMID: 22493264.
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    55. Strully KW, Fowler JH, Murabito JM, Benjamin EJ, Levy D, Christakis NA. Aspirin use and cardiovascular events in social networks. Soc Sci Med. 2012 Apr; 74(7):1125-9. PMID: 22361089.
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    56. Apicella CL, Marlowe FW, Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Social networks and cooperation in hunter-gatherers. Nature. 2012 Jan 25; 481(7382):497-501. PMID: 22281599.
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    57. Johnson DD, Fowler JH. The evolution of overconfidence. Nature. 2011 Sep 14; 477(7364):317-20. PMID: 21921915.
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    58. Fowler JH, Settle JE, Christakis NA. Correlated genotypes in friendship networks. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Feb 01; 108(5):1993-7. PMID: 21245293.
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    59. Beauchamp JP, Cesarini D, Johannesson M, van der Loos MJ, Koellinger PD, Groenen PJ, Fowler JH, Rosenquist JN, Thurik AR, Christakis NA. Molecular Genetics and Economics. J Econ Perspect. 2011; 25(4):57-82. PMID: 22427719.
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    60. Christakis NA, Fowler JH. Social network sensors for early detection of contagious outbreaks. PLoS One. 2010 Sep 15; 5(9):e12948. PMID: 20856792.
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    61. Rosenquist JN, Murabito J, Fowler JH, Christakis NA. The spread of alcohol consumption behavior in a large social network. Ann Intern Med. 2010 Apr 06; 152(7):426-33, W141. PMID: 20368648.
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    62. Mednick SC, Christakis NA, Fowler JH. The spread of sleep loss influences drug use in adolescent social networks. PLoS One. 2010 Mar 19; 5(3):e9775. PMID: 20333306.
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    63. Rosenquist JN, Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Social network determinants of depression. Mol Psychiatry. 2011 Mar; 16(3):273-81. PMID: 20231839.
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    64. Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Mar 23; 107(12):5334-8. PMID: 20212120.
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    65. Settle JE, Dawes CT, Christakis NA, Fowler JH. Friendships Moderate an Association Between a Dopamine Gene Variant and Political Ideology. J Polit. 2010; 72(4):1189-1198. PMID: 22282583.
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    66. Cacioppo JT, Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Alone in the crowd: the structure and spread of loneliness in a large social network. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2009 Dec; 97(6):977-91. PMID: 19968414.
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    67. Fowler JH, Dawes CT, Christakis NA. Model of genetic variation in human social networks. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Feb 10; 106(6):1720-4. PMID: 19171900.
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    68. Christakis NA, Fowler JH. Social Network Visualization in Epidemiology. Nor Epidemiol. 2009; 19(1):5-16. PMID: 22544996.
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    69. Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: longitudinal analysis over 20 years in the Framingham Heart Study. BMJ. 2008 Dec 04; 337:a2338. PMID: 19056788.
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    70. Fowler JH, Schreiber D. Biology, politics, and the emerging science of human nature. Science. 2008 Nov 07; 322(5903):912-4. PMID: 18988845.
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    71. Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Estimating peer effects on health in social networks: a response to Cohen-Cole and Fletcher; and Trogdon, Nonnemaker, and Pais. J Health Econ. 2008 Sep; 27(5):1400-5. PMID: 18692263.
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    72. Christakis NA, Fowler JH. The collective dynamics of smoking in a large social network. N Engl J Med. 2008 May 22; 358(21):2249-58. PMID: 18499567.
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    73. Cesarini D, Dawes CT, Fowler JH, Johannesson M, Lichtenstein P, Wallace B. Heritability of cooperative behavior in the trust game. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Mar 11; 105(10):3721-6. PMID: 18316737.
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    74. Christakis NA, Fowler JH. The spread of obesity in a large social network over 32 years. N Engl J Med. 2007 Jul 26; 357(4):370-9. PMID: 17652652.
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    75. Dawes CT, Fowler JH, Johnson T, McElreath R, Smirnov O. Egalitarian motives in humans. Nature. 2007 Apr 12; 446(7137):794-6. PMID: 17429399.
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    76. Baker LA, Barton M, Lozano DI, Raine A, Fowler JH. The Southern California Twin Register at the University of Southern California: II. Twin Res Hum Genet. 2006 Dec; 9(6):933-40. PMID: 17254433.
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    77. Fowler JH. Human cooperation: second-order free-riding problem solved? Nature. 2005 Sep 22; 437(7058):E8; discussion E8-9. PMID: 16177738.
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    78. Fowler JH. Altruistic punishment and the origin of cooperation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 May 10; 102(19):7047-9. PMID: 15857950.
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    79. Fowler JH, Johnson T, Smirnov O. Human behaviour: Egalitarian motive and altruistic punishment. Nature. 2005 Jan 06; 433(7021):1 p following 32; discussion following 32. PMID: 15637787.
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