Learning Change

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Posts Tagged ‘social networks

Social Learning Strategies in Networked Groups

When making decisions, humans can observe many kinds of information about others’ activities, but their effects on performance are not well understood. We investigated social learning strategies using a simple problem-solving task in which participants search a complex space, and each can view and imitate others’ solutions. Results showed that participants combined multiple sources of information to guide learning, including payoffs of peers’ solutions, popularity of solution elements among peers, similarity of peers’ solutions to their own, and relative payoffs from individual exploration. Furthermore, performance was positively associated with imitation rates at both the individual and group levels. When peers’ payoffs were hidden, popularity and similarity biases reversed, participants searched more broadly and randomly, and both quality and equity of exploration suffered. We conclude that when peers’ solutions can be effectively compared, imitation does not simply permit scrounging, but it can also facilitate propagation of good solutions for further cumulative exploration.

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Written by learningchange

03/04/2014 at 13:31

Private traits and attributes are predictable from digital records of human behavior

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We show that easily accessible digital records of behavior, Facebook Likes, can be used to automatically and accurately predict a range of highly sensitive personal attributes including: sexual orientation, ethnicity, religious and political views, personality traits, intelligence, happiness, use of addictive substances, parental separation, age, and gender. The analysis presented is based on a dataset of over 58,000 volunteers who provided their Facebook Likes, detailed demographic profiles, and the results of several psychometric tests. The proposed model uses dimensionality reduction for preprocessing the Likes data, which are then entered into logistic/linear regression to predict individual psychodemographic profiles from Likes. The model correctly discriminates between homosexual and heterosexual men in 88% of cases, African Americans and Caucasian Americans in 95% of cases, and between Democrat and Republican in 85% of cases. For the personality trait “Openness,” prediction accuracy is close to the test–retest accuracy of a standard personality test. We give examples of associations between attributes and Likes and discuss implications for online personalization and privacy.

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Read also: Facebook ‘likes’ predict personality

Written by learningchange

16/10/2013 at 11:36

A New Kind of Economy is Born – Social Decision-Makers (Homo Socialis) Beat the “Homo Economicus”

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The Internet and Social Media change our way of decision-making. We are no longer the independent decision makers we used to be. Instead, we have become networked minds, social decision-makers, more than ever before. This has several fundamental implications. First of all, our economic theories must change, and second, our economic institutions must be adapted to support the social decision-maker, the “homo socialis“, rather than tailored to the perfect egoist, known as “homo economicus“.

The financial, economic and public debt crisis has seriously damaged our trust in mainstream economic theory. Can it really offer an adequate description of economic reality? Laboratory experiments keep questioning one of the main pillars of economic theory, the “homo economicus“. They show that the perfectly self-regarding decision-maker is not the rule, but rather the exception. And they show that markets, as they are organized today, are undermining ethical behavior.

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Written by learningchange

04/10/2013 at 12:35

From Arab Spring to global revolution

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In an excerpt from his book Why It’s Still Kicking Off Everywhere, Paul Mason argues that a global protest movement, based on social networks, is here to stay.

Two years on from the fall of Hosni Mubarak, the new Egyptian president is from the Muslim Brotherhood; on the streets of Cairo, the same kind of people who died in droves in 2011 are still getting killed. On the streets of Athens, the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn is staging anti-migrant pogroms. In Russia, Pussy Riot are in jail and the leaders of the democracy movement facing criminal indictments. The war in Syria is killing 200 people a day. It’s an easy step from all this to the conclusion that 2011, the year it all kicked off, was a flash in the pan. But wrong. Something real and important was unleashed in 2011, and it has not yet gone away. I am confident enough now to call it a revolution. Some of its processes conform to the templates laid down in the revolutionary wave that swept Europe in 1848, but many do not: above all, the relationship between the physical and the mental, the political and the cultural, seem inverted.

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Written by learningchange

05/02/2013 at 14:49

Complex systems, social networks and the evolution of social complexity

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Along with the origins of agriculture, the appearance of complex societies – often called ‘chiefdoms’ and ‘states’ – is one of the most widely discussed social processes in the archaeological literature. Explanations for the beginnings of complex societies commonly involve ideas of progressive social evolution.

An alternative approach for understanding the evolution of social complexity is based on concepts derived from the study of complex systems. As we illustrate below, complex systems give us new conceptual tools for studying the social processes that drove the evolution of small agricultural communities into political states. Complex systems are composed of many interacting  components organized into nested groups that can be represented as organizational hierarchies or hierarchically structured networks; the more complex the system, the deeper the nesting of the groups of components. In human terms, such nested groups could be nuclear families within forager bands, and bands within regional metapopulations. They also could be households within clans within chiefdoms, or individuals within craft guilds, within a city within a state.

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Written by learningchange

15/01/2013 at 06:43

Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives

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Renowned scientists Christakis and Fowler present compelling evidence for our profound influence on one another’s tastes, health, wealth, happiness, beliefs, even weight, as they explain how social networks form and how they operate. “Connected” uses science and research to explain how we are all socially tied together in one way shape or form. And how our actions affect other people’s lives and vice versa. We all create a ripple affect that is felt and heard to the ends of the world. After reading this book you suddenly become more sensitive about your actions, how your negative or positive energy can pass onto a complete stranger and how they will pass it along and so on and so forth. Life is a cycle and everything comes back to us. Reap what you sow.

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Written by learningchange

05/12/2012 at 23:59

Posted in Social network

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Global Civil Unrest – Contagion, Self-Organization, and Prediction

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Civil unrest is a powerful form of collective human dynamics, which has led to major transitions of societies in modern history. The study of collective human dynamics, including collective aggression, has been the focus of much discussion in the context of modeling and identification of universal patterns of behavior. In contrast, the possibility that civil unrest activities, across countries and over long time periods, are governed by universal mechanisms has not been explored. Here, records of civil unrest of 170 countries during the period 1919–2008 are analyzed. It is demonstrated that the distributions of the number of unrest events per year are robustly reproduced by a nonlinear, spatially extended dynamical model, which reflects the spread of civil disorder between geographic regions connected through social and communication networks. The results also expose the similarity between global social instability and the dynamics of natural hazards and epidemics.

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Written by learningchange

05/12/2012 at 11:54

The Rhizomes of Manipur: How Marginal Resistance Turns Difference into Affirmation

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This paper will examine the June-December 2004 popular uprising in Manipur, through the lens of reports in the Manipuri, Indian and global media, with a view to showing how the characteristics of an affinity-network arise in a marginal setting. It will show that social relations based on the affinity-network form provide an alternative to statist and hierarchical imaginaries which create antagonistic, fixed identities, turning difference into a positive force of empowerment instead of a matter of incompatible claims. It will also seek to understand how, in contrast to other local political forces, the mobilisation was able to turn difference into a source of strength.

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Written by learningchange

03/12/2012 at 12:12

A large-scale community structure analysis in Facebook

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Understanding social dynamics that govern human phenomena, such as communications and social relationships is a major problem in current computational social sciences. In particular, given the unprecedented success of online social networks (OSNs), in this paper we are concerned with the analysis of aggregation patterns and social dynamics occurring among users of the largest OSN as the date: Facebook. In detail, we discuss the mesoscopic features of the community structure of this network, considering the perspective of the communities, which has not yet been studied on such a large scale. To this purpose, we acquired a sample of this network containing millions of users and their social relationships; then, we unveiled the communities representing the aggregation units among which users gather and interact; finally, we analyzed the statistical features of such a network of communities, discovering and characterizing some specific organization patterns followed by individuals interacting in online social networks, that emerge considering different sampling techniques and clustering methodologies. This study provides some clues of the tendency of individuals to establish social interactions in online social networks that eventually contribute to building a well-connected social structure, and opens space for further social studies.

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Written by learningchange

12/11/2012 at 14:48

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