Experimental evidence for tipping points in social convention

Author: Centola, D., Becker, J., Brackbill, D., & Baronchelli, A.

Description: Theoretical models of critical mass have shown how minority groups can initiate social change dynamics in the emergence of new social conventions. Here, we study an artificial system of social conventions in which human subjects interact to establish a new coordination equilibrium. The findings provide direct empirical demonstration of the existence of a tipping point in the dynamics of changing social conventions. When minority groups reached the critical mass-that is, the critical group size for initiating social change-they were consistently able to overturn the established behavior. The size of the required critical mass is expected to vary based on theoretically identifiable features of a social setting. Our results show that the theoretically predicted dynamics of critical mass do in fact emerge as expected within an empirical system of social coordination.

Subject headings: Humans, Interpersonal Relations; Minority Groups; Social Behavior; Social Change; Social Norms

Publication year: 2018

Journal or book title: Science

Volume: 360

Issue: 6393

Pages: 1116–1119

Find the full text: https://ndg.asc.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Experimental-evidence-for-tipping.pdf

Find more like this one (cited by):  https://scholar.google.com/scholar?cites=11781249682614097447&as_sdt=1000005&sciodt=0,16&hl=en

Type: Journal article

Serial number: 3091

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