Galesic, Mirta; Wandi Bruine de Bruin; Jonas Dalege; Scott L. Feld; Frauke Kreuter; Henrik Olsson; Drazen Prelec; Daniel L. Stein and Tamara van der Does

The ability to ‘sense’ the social environment and thereby to understand the thoughts and actions of others allows humans to fit into their social worlds, communicate and cooperate, and learn from others’ experiences. Here we argue that, through the lens of computational social science, this ability can be used to advance research into human sociality. When strategically selected to represent a specific population of interest, human social sensors can help to describe and predict societal trends. In addition, their reports of how they experience their social worlds can help to build models of social dynamics that are constrained by the empirical reality of human social systems.