Tag Archives | Influence
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.
Jon Stewart takes a moment to have a heart-to-heart with his viewers on the cycle of craziness and patriotism after the Arizona tragedy. As he stumbles through trying to make sense of the incident he reminds us that whether politics or visual violence was a factor behind the motivation of the killings, “you cannot out smart crazy.”