The spread of social phenomena such as behaviors, ideas or products is an ubiquitous but remarkably complex phenomenon. A successful avenue to study the spread of social phenomena relies on epidemic models by establishing analogies between the transmission of social phenomena and infectious diseases. Such models typically assume simple social interactions restricted to pairs of individuals; effects of the context are often neglected. Here we show that local synergistic effects associated with acquaintances of pairs of individuals can have striking consequences on the spread of social phenomena at large scales. The most interesting predictions are found for a scenario in which the contagion ability of a spreader decreases with the number of ignorant individuals surrounding the target ignorant. This mechanism mimics ubiquitous situations in which the willingness of individuals to adopt a new product depends not only on the intrinsic value of the product but also on whether his acquaintances will adopt this product or not. In these situations, we show that the typically smooth (second order) transitions towards large social contagion become explosive (first order). The proposed synergistic mechanisms therefore explain why ideas, rumours or products can suddenly and sometimes unexpectedly catch on.
Giorgio BertiniResearch on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
Academic SupportThe Learning Change Project is a personal not for profit and without sponsors multidisciplinary initiative to support academic activities. Use the files freely for your Courses or Research. To prepare Reading Lists explore the Category List or Search for the topic of your interest. If you need any support, contact me.
3950 Posts in this BlogFollow my Networks for recent Posts. For authors, date, publishers +metadata, view the source.
- Follow Learning Change on WordPress.com
Recent Posts: Learning Art
Learning Community Change
Learning Cultural Change
Learning Philosophy of Change
Learning Political Economy of Change
Learning Research & Change Methods
Learning Sciences of Change
Learning Sustainability of Change
Learning Technologies of Change
- My Tweets