Social networks are an important source of information, for example about new technologies, where you can get them, how to use them, or if you can trust them.

Gerrit Rooks, employee

We know from research that difference in network structure are the result of differences between people in those networks.

My name is Gerrit Rooks (1963). Ik am what they call a late-bloomer. I started to study psychology when I was 27, that was still possible on those days. I wanted to become a clinical psychologist to help people by giving them therapy. But I learned quickly that I was more attracted by the combination of social psychology and methodology and statistical analysis. After getting my degree I continued with a study on sociology. I became fascinated by how people are influenced by their social networks, and how they shape social networks. These days I also teach twice a year in Oeganda.

I live in Belgium together with my wife and two kids. We have an Australian shepherd, and I try to do running with him once in a while in the forest. I like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and playing chess on the internet. I also like a lot of different styles of music, but especially Mozard, Radiohead and Rachmaninov.

Projects

Trust your social network, but not too much
You don’t get far in life without friends, family and acquaintances. Social networks are an important source of information, for example about new technologies, where you can get them, how to use them, or if you can trust them. Social networks also help in other ways, such as emotional support and sometimes also in material ways.

Social networks can be very different. Some people have a lot of contacts, others have less. In some networks all people know each other very well (a clique). In other networks people hardly know each other, or only very indirect, they only have heard about each other.

We know from research that difference in network structure are the result of differences between people in those networks. For example we know that certain networks result in more creative ideas, of more innovation, but also to more happiness and better health. It is important to understand how network processes evolve and what an optimal network is. The relation between networks and functioning of people if very complex. This research shows that a tide network is good, because you can rely on and trust each other. But you have to be careful not to become too close and friendly, because you might miss out on interesting and important new contacts.

Projects

Trust your social network, but not too much
You don’t get far in life without friends, family and acquaintances. Social networks are an important source of information, for example about new technologies, where you can get them, how to use them, or if you can trust them. Social networks also help in other ways, such as emotional support and sometimes also in material ways.

Social networks can be very different. Some people have a lot of contacts, others have less. In some networks all people know each other very well (a clique). In other networks people hardly know each other, or only very indirect, they only have heard about each other.

We know from research that difference in network structure are the result of differences between people in those networks. For example we know that certain networks result in more creative ideas, of more innovation, but also to more happiness and better health. It is important to understand how network processes evolve and what an optimal network is. The relation between networks and functioning of people if very complex. This research shows that a tide network is good, because you can rely on and trust each other. But you have to be careful not to become too close and friendly, because you might miss out on interesting and important new contacts.