Social Networks and Innovation Conference Presenters Arlen Moller and Julia Poncela-Casanovas
Arlen Moller and Julia Poncela-Casasnovas
Dr. Moller is an Associate Professor of Psychology for Illinois Institute of Technology.
After completing her graduate training, Dr. Poncela-Casasnovas became a Postdoctoral Fellow at Northwestern University and a Research Associate with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Arlen Moller received his Ph.D. in Social and Personality Psychology from the University of Rochester (2007) in Rochester, NY. He was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA from 2007 through 2009, and a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University from 2009 through 2012. In August 2012, Dr. Moller joined Illinois Institute of Technology. His research program is currently exploring ways to leverage technology, game design, social networks, choice, and financial incentives in ways that support autonomous motivation and sustainable healthy behavior change.
Julia Poncela-Casasnovas received her Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Zaragoza in Spain in 2010. Her research program is primarily focused on statistical physics, non-linear physics and complex systems in general, and more specifically, in different processes on top of complex topologies, such as social networks.
“Social Network Predictors of Weight Loss in an Online Weight Management Program”. We studied the online activity and weight change of members of a virtual weight management community during a 2-year period from 2009-2011. Heckman’s econometric sample-selection procedure was used to account for potential selection bias and data censoring. Results revealed that initial body mass index, adherence to self-monitoring, and social networking were all significant predictors of weight loss. However, friendship with “connector hubs” – individuals who have many friends in different communities in the online network – was the most powerful predictor of weight loss.