If 10% of the Population Believes a Stupid Thing, The Majority Will Too

IdiocracyVia ScienceDaily:

Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.

The scientists, who are members of the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC) at Rensselaer, used computational and analytical methods to discover the tipping point where a minority belief becomes the majority opinion.

The finding has implications for the study and influence of societal interactions ranging from the spread of innovations to the movement of political ideals.”When the number of committed opinion holders is below 10 percent, there is no visible progress in the spread of ideas. It would literally take the amount of time comparable to the age of the universe for this size group to reach the majority,” said SCNARC Director Boleslaw Szymanski, the Claire and Roland Schmitt Distinguished Professor at Rensselaer. “Once that number grows above 10 percent, the idea spreads like flame.”

As an example, the ongoing events in Tunisia and Egypt appear to exhibit a similar process, according to Szymanski. “In those countries, dictators who were in power for decades were suddenly overthrown in just a few weeks.”

The findings were published in the July 22, 2011, early online edition of the journal Physical Review E in an article titled “Social consensus through the influence of committed minorities.”

An important aspect of the finding is that the percent of committed opinion holders required to shift majority opinion does not change significantly regardless of the type of network in which the opinion holders are working. In other words, the percentage of committed opinion holders required to influence a society remains at approximately 10 percent, regardless of how or where that opinion starts and spreads in the society.

Read more here.

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  • Rawcheeseburger

    Hence the insult sheeple.

  • Rawcheeseburger

    Hence the insult sheeple.

  • Goshomg

    If 10% tell the truth of 9/11, the rest will follow! We can win. The referenced article was much more positive.

  • Goshomg

    If 10% tell the truth of 9/11, the rest will follow! We can win. The referenced article was much more positive.

    • SF2K01

      The percentage of truthers in some shape or form is actually much higher, like 25%. It’s not like the article said that anything that more than 10% believe in is automatically true, large amounts of people believe in a lot of stupid shit, all the more so with conspiratorial paranoia.

  • Metanoian

    this is actually a really good thing.. have you ever heard of the story of the 1000 monkeys? when 10% of them from an island discovered how to wash the coconut b4 eating it all the other monkeys even from the other side of the island knew how to do it instantly..  now, immagine that 10% of the population get enlightened, or at least accepts and is aware of consciousnes.. this will ¨contaminate¨all the rest of human kind. This is our REAL future, towards evolution, and it is about ME/YOU to BE THE CHANGE! this is how we can change the world, by acting inside ourselves.   like in this article.. don´t choose to see the bad part in things. It´s all about the point of view.. and about how optimist/happy you can be.. TRUST! FULL CONFIDENCE IN EVERYTHING!! It will all turn out exactly how it is supposed to… BOOM!

  • Metanoian

    this is actually a really good thing.. have you ever heard of the story of the 1000 monkeys? when 10% of them from an island discovered how to wash the coconut b4 eating it all the other monkeys even from the other side of the island knew how to do it instantly..  now, immagine that 10% of the population get enlightened, or at least accepts and is aware of consciousnes.. this will ¨contaminate¨all the rest of human kind. This is our REAL future, towards evolution, and it is about ME/YOU to BE THE CHANGE! this is how we can change the world, by acting inside ourselves.   like in this article.. don´t choose to see the bad part in things. It´s all about the point of view.. and about how optimist/happy you can be.. TRUST! FULL CONFIDENCE IN EVERYTHING!! It will all turn out exactly how it is supposed to… BOOM!

  • http://strictlyapathy.comoj.com/ SoulArbiter

    How society is always ruled by the minority…

  • http://strictlyapathy.comoj.com SoulArbiter

    How society is always ruled by the minority…

  • Anonymous

    The percentage of truthers in some shape or form is actually much higher, like 25%. It’s not like the article said that anything that more than 10% believe in is automatically true, large amounts of people believe in a lot of stupid shit, all the more so with conspiratorial paranoia.

  • Anonymous

    minority rules

  • http://www.theamericanbookofthedead.com Henry

    What?  10% believe Obama is the Anti-Christ, 10% believe in 9-11 truth, 10% believe in alien abductions. Not equating the the feasability of those things, but they’re not in the majority.

  • http://www.theamericanbookofthedead.com Henry

    What?  10% believe Obama is the Anti-Christ, 10% believe in 9-11 truth, 10% believe in alien abductions. Not equating the the feasability of those things, but they’re not in the majority.

  • jasonpaulhayes

    be·lief -noun

    1. something believed; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.

  • http://twitter.com/jasonpaulhayes jasonpaulhayes

    be·lief -noun

    1. something belived; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.

  • http://twitter.com/jasonpaulhayes jasonpaulhayes

    be·lief -noun

    1. something belived; an opinion or conviction: a belief that the earth is flat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001116335333 Jay Cooke

    This is actually not really a new discovery. Psychologists have known this for a while now. In fact, there’s an entire Youtube series called Psychology of Belief that covers this quite well.

    • Anon

      and if it doesn’t exist on youtube it doesn’t exist

    • Word Eater

      I just watched all ten of them on YouTube.  Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001116335333 Jay Cooke

    This is actually not really a new discovery. Psychologists have known this for a while now. In fact, there’s an entire Youtube series called Psychology of Belief that covers this quite well.

  • http://twitter.com/hipriestess4u donna castlegrant

    this is the 100th monkey principal revisited

  • http://twitter.com/hipriestess4u donna castlegrant

    this is the 100th monkey principal revisited

  • Chiefshaver

    Its actually higher than that religion is a thriving empire. =(

  • Chiefshaver

    Its actually higher than that religion is a thriving empire. =(

  • apdubbee

    They ought to drop the “Cognitive” and go with SNARC as an acronym instead. Much more catchy.  I just need 9 out of 100 more people to make it so!

  • apdubbee

    They ought to drop the “Cognitive” and go with SNARC as an acronym instead. Much more catchy.  I just need 9 out of 100 more people to make it so!

  • Anon

    and if it doesn’t exist on youtube it doesn’t exist

  • Mack1688

    I have read of the “hundredth” monkey, when scientists found that after a certain number of monkeys on an island washed their food, then all of the monkeys everywhere on the island, even bands seperated by steep valleys from the source band, commenced washing their food.
    It seems that the magic portion of the population is ten percent, and that number of believers must be loyal to the death for their belief.

  • Mack1688

    I have read of the “hundredth” monkey, when scientists found that after a certain number of monkeys on an island washed their food, then all of the monkeys everywhere on the island, even bands seperated by steep valleys from the source band, commenced washing their food.
    It seems that the magic portion of the population is ten percent, and that number of believers must be loyal to the death for their belief.

  • Rossb

    My opinion is that people WILL learn to THINK because the alternative is doom. Then, ideas (in an intelligent environment) will spread like wildfire:

    http://www.nazisociopaths.org/modules/article/view.article.php/c1/33

    I also THINK that, from a scientific perspective, the conclusions of this “study” are higly suspect.

    For the simple reason that if a minority of 10% holds intransigient views and acts in a manner threatening to the majority, the majority WILL ultimately shun and perhaps smite them. Conversely, if a minority, of any small percentage holds truthful views, with survival advantages, these “values” will be adopted by all sane persons who are exposed to them, ultimately becoming the majority view.

  • Rossb

    My opinion is that people WILL learn to THINK because the alternative is doom. Then, ideas (in an intelligent environment) will spread like wildfire:

    http://www.nazisociopaths.org/modules/article/view.article.php/c1/33

    I also THINK that, from a scientific perspective, the conclusions of this “study” are higly suspect.

    For the simple reason that if a minority of 10% holds intransigient views and acts in a manner threatening to the majority, the majority WILL ultimately shun and perhaps smite them. Conversely, if a minority, of any small percentage holds truthful views, with survival advantages, these “values” will be adopted by all sane persons who are exposed to them, ultimately becoming the majority view.

  • Anonymous

    I believe there really is a conspiracy to destroy the US middle class.  Anyone else?

  • dudicaldude

    I believe there really is a conspiracy to destroy the US middle class.  Anyone else?

  • Anonymous

    This is stupid … But I believe it

  • mothman777

    This is stupid … But I believe it

  • Frankensteinmoneymac

    So then what if there are two groups….both containing ten percent of the population….and the two groups have fundamentally opposed beliefs? They can’t both make everyone else believe as they do. 

  • Frankensteinmoneymac

    So then what if there are two groups….both containing ten percent of the population….and the two groups have fundamentally opposed beliefs? They can’t both make everyone else believe as they do. 

    • Andrew

      People believe contradictory things all the time.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJROVOQHOSQ6F2KOBXIXMRSJII sam l

        “People believe contradictory things all the time.” — The best example can be seen in the judeo-christian-islam religions being told that their all powerful all knowing god creator had it all figured out after the first six days,,, then the revisions started on the eighth day.

        Madison Ave., has the less than 10% influence over us.

  • David

    @People referring to the “Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon”.  It doesn’t exist.  It’s debunked here. http://www.uhh.hawaii.edu/~ronald/HMP.htm  You really should research this stuff before claiming to know about it.

  • David

    @People referring to the “Hundredth Monkey Phenomenon”.  It doesn’t exist.  It’s debunked here. http://www.uhh.hawaii.edu/~ronald/HMP.htm  You really should research this stuff before claiming to know about it.

  • Khazar

    Cock

  • Val Brooker

    Not every one is sheep brained. So not everyone will believe the majority, no matter how big.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Val-Brooker/547629160 Val Brooker

    Not every one is sheep brained. So not everyone will believe the majority, no matter how big.

  • FeathermerchantUSMC

    No Way!!!
    The onliest way I gonna believe this is if 1 outta 10 of the people I know believe it , too!

  • FeathermerchantUSMC

    No Way!!!
    The onliest way I gonna believe this is if 1 outta 10 of the people I know believe it , too!

  • Andrew

    People believe contradictory things all the time.

  • Publius

    If this were true drugs would be legal.

  • Publius

    If this were true drugs would be legal.

  • 322

    Excelllllennnnt…………amusing  change that to …  …   …” IF20%”…   …   …  ..   …  ..and it may make more sense…..[or not]………..word for word…………………….A fortiori………………..322

  • 322

    Excelllllennnnt…………amusing  change that to …  …   …” IF20%”…   …   …  ..   …  ..and it may make more sense…..[or not]………..word for word…………………….A fortiori………………..322

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Pallister/1389811844 Steve Pallister

    What rubbish.
     More than 10% believe for example in Zionism and far more than 10% are as forcefully opposed. Yet the majority opinion is never represented in the media so what matter anyway?

    More than 10% believe 9/11 was an inside job and more than ten percent believe the official story. The majority does not believe these days but it has shifted. This just shows normal movement of ideas due to the advance of truth.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJROVOQHOSQ6F2KOBXIXMRSJII sam l

      It all depends on where the 10% is,,, and if it is inside Madison Avenue,,, the 90% have a long steep mountain to climb but it can be done. 9 11 truth is up there in the 75% range with less than 10% believing in the habitual lies of the obstruction of justice promotors, or better known as the official lies lines.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Pallister/1389811844 Steve Pallister

    What rubbish.
     More than 10% believe for example in Zionism and far more than 10% are as forcefully opposed. Yet the majority opinion is never represented in the media so what matter anyway?

    More than 10% believe 9/11 was an inside job and more than ten percent believe the official story. The majority does not believe these days but it has shifted. This just shows normal movement of ideas due to the advance of truth.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJROVOQHOSQ6F2KOBXIXMRSJII sam l

    It all depends on where the 10% is,,, and if it is inside Madison Avenue,,, the 90% have a long steep mountain to climb but it can be done. 9 11 truth is up there in the 75% range with less than 10% believing in the habitual lies of the obstruction of justice promotors, or better known as the official lies lines.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJROVOQHOSQ6F2KOBXIXMRSJII sam l

    “People believe contradictory things all the time.” — The best example can be seen in the judeo-christian-islam religions being told that their all powerful all knowing god creator had it all figured out after the first six days,,, then the revisions started on the eighth day.

    Madison Ave., has the less than 10% influence over us.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7WNECVKZSU35JEKRH5YUJQF6WA Erkki

    I do not believe to “9-11 truth” at all, if you mean that we would have been told the truth (and not just some parts of it).
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-even-i-question-the-truth-about-911-462904.html

  • Anonymous

    Specious findings. As an alumni of RPI, I have to say I’d rather have heard of some amazing technical break-through from there, not this statistical mumbo-jumbo. And such a sign of our times too, that this kind of rot finds takers in the media.
    Vivek

    http://aadivaahan.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/66th-anniversary-of-trinity-and-thoughts/

  • Anadianant

    Specious findings. As an alumni of RPI, I have to say I’d rather have heard of some amazing technical break-through from there, not this statistical mumbo-jumbo. And such a sign of our times too, that this kind of rot finds takers in the media.
    Vivek

    http://aadivaahan.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/66th-anniversary-of-trinity-and-thoughts/

  • Word Eater

    I just watched all ten of them on YouTube.  Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.optimalthinking.com/corebelief.php Laurie S

    Thanks for the article reprint. I think you would find that core beliefs play into this majority/minority influence more than the numbers. It is essential to evaluate the core belief of the culture as a whole as well as those of the individuals. I learned about this influence through the work of Rosalene Glickman Ph.D. An article of hers on core beliefs can be found at:  http://www.optimalthinking.com/corebelief.php

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