By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We hear all the time about a video going viral on the internet and a Penn professor has made great strides in understanding why some things succeed.

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Jonah Berger’s book ‘Contagion, Why Things Catch On’, is the outgrowth of a course he teaches and research he leads.

“You might have thought it was luck, or random, why things catch on but it’s not. There’s a science behind it.”

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Science that Berger, a Wharton Marketing Professor, says is ten years more solid than when the groundbreaking The Tipping Point came out. He has identified six ingredients to success (social currency, triggers, emotion, public, practical value and stories) and not one is put online.

“People think that online matters much more but, to me, it’s important to think about the psychology and not about the technology. Understand why people behave the way they do and use those insights to shape our own behavior.”

And, yes, Professor Berger is using his methods to market this book.

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