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MyMovez-SocialMovez: Social Network Health Campaigns

This research line aims to improve obesity prevention campaigns for young people by targeting their social networks. Social forces such as friends and family can be used to enhance campaign effects, which has become extremely relevant with the explosive growth of social media. The interdisciplinary research team is developing and testing a model for the interaction between media and social effects, identifying three roles for influential people: modelling (giving a good example of the targeted behaviour), messaging (transmitting campaign messages by social interaction), and moderating (endorsing campaign messages).

In a 5-year project funded by the European Research Council (ERC), the research team developed an approach to identify the most influential kids in social networks and their most effective influence strategies. These insights can be used to target and tailor health campaigns. The team has developed the MyMovez WearableLab, a mobile research application that allows implementation and impact evaluation of health campaigns via smartphones.

The team has recently received an NWO-Vici grant to take the crucial next step. Online social networks such as Instagram and Snapchat offer unprecedented technological opportunities to promote a healthy lifestyle via peer influencers in the network.  Using innovative data-analytic technologies, the researchers will reveal how online social network campaigns can be optimized, while safeguarding youth’s privacy. This next 5-year project will be hosted by the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

For more information, see MyMovez.eu.

Primary investigator: Moniek Buijzen

Researchers: Kris Bevelander, Laura Buijs, Bill Burk, Rebecca de Leeuw, Esther Rozendaal, Crystal Smit, Thabo van Woudenberg.

MyMovez cartoon