Spend the last 15 minutes of your day making a list of everything you need to do...for tomorrow. Just think about it: Why would you wait until the next day to jot down thoughts that are already on your mind?
Over the past 50 years, many studies of organizations and community change have attempted to identify the critical size needed for a tipping point, purely based on observation. These studies have speculated that tipping points can range anywhere between 10% and 40%.
The problem for scientists has been that real world social dynamics are complicated, and it isn’t possible to replay history in precisely the same way to accurately measure how outcomes would have been different if an activist group had been larger or smaller.
“What we were able to do in this study was to develop a theoretical model that would predict the size of the critical mass needed to shift group norms, and then test it experimentally,” says lead author Damon Centola, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication and the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Drawing on more than a decade of experimental work, Centola has developed an online method to test how large scale social dynamics can be changed.
Damon Centola, Ph.D.
In this study, “Experimental Evidence for Tipping Points in Social Convention,” coauthored by Joshua Becker, Ph.D., Devon Brackbill, Ph.D., and Andrea Baronchelli, Ph.D., 10 groups of 20 participants each were given a financial incentive to agree on a linguistic norm. Once a norm had been established, a group of confederates — a coalition of activists that varied in size — then pushed for a change to the norm.
When a minority group pushing change was below 25% of the total group, its efforts failed. But when the committed minority reached 25%, there was an abrupt change in the group dynamic, and very quickly the majority of the population adopted the new norm. In one trial, a single person accounted for the difference between success and failure.
The researchers also tested the strength of their results by increasing the payments people got for adhering to the prevailing norm. Despite doubling and tripling the amount of money for sticking with the established behavior, Centola and his colleagues found that a minority group could still overturn the group norm.
“When a community is close to a tipping point to cause large-scale social change, there’s no way they would know this,” says Centola, who directs the Network Dynamics Group at the Annenberg School. “And if they’re just below a tipping point, their efforts will fail. But, remarkably, just by adding one more person, and getting above the 25% tipping point, their efforts can have rapid success in changing the entire population’s opinion.”
Acknowledging that real-life situations can be much more complicated, the authors’ model allows for the exact 25% tipping point number to change based on circumstances. Memory length is a key variable, and relates to how entrenched a belief or behavior is.
For example, someone whose beliefs are based on hundreds of past interactions may be less influenced by one change agent. Whereas someone who considers only their more recent interactions would be more easily swayed.
“Our findings present a stark contrast to centuries of thinking about social change in classical economics, in which economists typically think a majority of activists is needed to change a population’s norms,” says Centola. “The classical model, called equilibrium stability analysis, would dictate that 51% or more is needed to initiate real social change. We found, both theoretically and experimentally, that a much smaller fraction of the population can effectively do this.”
Centola believes environments can be engineered to push people in pro-social directions, particularly in contexts such as in organizations, where people’s personal rewards are tied directly to their ability to coordinate on behaviors that their peers will find acceptable.
Centola also suggests that this work has direct implications for political activism on the Internet, offering new insight into how the Chinese government’s use of pro-government propaganda on social networks like Weibo, for example, can effectively shift conversational norms away from negative stories that might foment social unrest.
While shifting people’s underlying beliefs can be challenging, Centola’s results offer new evidence that a committed minority can change what behaviors are seen as socially acceptable, potentially leading to pro-social outcomes like reduced energy consumption, less sexual harassment in the workplace, and improved exercise habits. Conversely, it can also prompt large-scale anti-social behaviors such as internet trolling, internet bullying, and public outbursts of racism.
The implications for large-scale behavior change are also the subject of Centola’s new book, How Behavior Spreads: The Science of Complex Contagion(link is external), which will be published next week by Princeton University Press.
The full text of "Experimental evidence for tipping points in social convention" can be found here.
Decrease your options so you can find what's important. That's what you'll get from this video. Your time and energy can either be invested in things that will serve you or destroy you. Most of us are knowledgable enough to know what's good for us and what's bad for us. The hard part is making the right decision. You have to have a reason that's bigger than you, to make the right choices. Find a way to do that and you'll no longer lack the discipline required to head in the direction of your biggest goals.
"Be a hero" - Matthew McConaughey Video Credit: Interlight Media
Madness, chaos, wild confusion and disorder. This is the way the universe began - we're told. As the "dust" settles things become more orderly more and more still. Yet, stillness is not always proof of becoming more orderly, just look at my room! It's very still! But definitely not orderly.
My room reflects my state of mind, my house reflects my body, my property reflects my immediate social environment, further a field reflects my place in society. On and on until we pan out to view the whole world, the planet, as my body, filled with sextiillions of elements from the atomic level, all the way up to the planetary scale. My room is a mess, my house is much the same, my property is isolated but has a good view, my local community seem to be active. Further a field society is sinking into mud on one side and overcoming huge mountains on the other. Panning out into space, the planet looks dry and brown as industrialisation consumes the globe like a nasty rash.
Weather systems are becoming more and more difficult to predict, even reversing in some cases. It is the perfect time to start a doomsday religion! Kidding, just so you know
Remarks by Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, BJ '77, ninth commander of U.S.Special Operations Command, Texas Exes Life Member, and Distinguished Alumnus. University-Wide Commencement The University of Texas at Austin, May 17, 2014.
The apostrophe ( ’ or ' ) character is a punctuation mark, and sometimes a diacritical mark, in languages that use the Latin alphabet and some other alphabets. In English it is used for several purposes:
The marking of the omission of one or more letters (as in the contraction of do not to don't).
The marking of possessive case (as in the eagle's feathers, or in one month's time).
The marking of plurals of individual characters (e.g. p's and q's, three a's, four i's, and two u's, Oakland A's).
The word apostrophe comes ultimately from Greek ἡ ἀπόστροφος [προσῳδία] (hē apóstrophos [prosōidía], '[the accent of] turning away', or 'elision'), through Latin and French.
The apostrophe looks the same as a closing single quotation mark in many fonts, although they have different meanings, and Unicode recommends using the quotation mark character to represent most uses of the apostrophe. The apostrophe also looks similar to, but is not the same as, the prime symbol ( ′ ), which is used to indicate measurement in feet or arcminutes, as well as for various mathematical purposes, and the ʻokina ( ʻ ), which represents a glottal stop in Polynesian languages. Other substitutes such as ´ (acute) and ‘ (open single quotation mark) are common due to ambiguous treatment of the apostrophe in digital typesetting
pejorative \ pi-ˈjȯr-ə-tiv , -ˈjär- \ noun and adjective
French 1882 péjorative (“depreciative, disparaging”), from Late Latin pēiōrātus, past participle of pēiōrāre (“make worse”), from Latin pēior (“worse”). Compare English 1644 pejorate (“to worsen”), from the same etymology.
(Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /pɪˈdʒɒɹətɪv/
(General American) IPA(key): /pəˈdʒɔɹəɾɪv/
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pejorative (comparative more pejorative, superlative most pejorative)
Disparaging, belittling or derogatory.
pejorative (plural pejoratives)
A disparaging, belittling, or derogatory word or expression.
piscatorial \ ˌpi-skə-ˈtȯr-ē-əl \ adjective
From Latin piscātor (“fisherman”), from piscis (“fish”).
piscatorial (not comparable)
Of or pertaining to fishermen or fishing. quotations ▼
Of or pertaining to fish; piscine. quotations ▼
megalomaniac \ ˌme-gə-lō-ˈmā-nē-ə , -nyə \ noun
First attested in 1890, from French mégalomanie; Surface etymology is megalo- + -mania.
IPA(key): /ˌmɛɡəloʊˈmeɪniə/, /ˌmɛɡəloʊˈmeɪnjə/
megalomania (countable and uncountable, plural megalomanias)
A psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence.
An obsolete name for narcissistic personality disorder.
An obsession with grandiose or extravagant things or actions.
(psychopathological condition): delusion of grandeur
parsimony • \ˈpär-sə-ˌmō-nē\ • noun
1. extreme stinginess
2. extreme care in spending money; reluctance to spend money unnecessarily
From Middle English parcimonie, from Middle French parsimonie, from Latin parsimōnia (“frugality, sparingness”), from parsus, past participle of parcere (“to spare”).
(by extension) The principle of using the fewest resources or explanations to solve a problem.
see stinginess and niggardliness
see also economy, frugality, stingy and frugal
profligate \ ˈprä-fli-gət , -ˌgāt \ adjective and noun
From Latin prōflīgātus (“wretched, abandoned”), participle of prōflīgō (“strike down, cast down”), from pro (“forward”) + fligere (“to strike, dash”).
(adjective, noun, Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈpɹɒflɪɡət/
(adjective, noun, US) enPR: prŏʹflĭgət, IPA(key): /ˈpɹɑːflɪɡət/
(adjective, noun) Audio (US)
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(verb, Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈpɹɒflɪɡeɪt/
(verb, US) enPR: prŏʹflĭgāt, IPA(key): /ˈpɹɑːflɪɡeɪt/
(verb) Audio (US)
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profligate (comparative more profligate, superlative most profligate)
Inclined to waste resources or behave extravagantly. quotations
Immoral; abandoned to vice. quotations
a race more profligate than we
Made prostitute and profligate muse.
(obsolete) Overthrown, ruined. quotations
The foe is profligate, and run.
(inclined to waste resources or behave extravagantly): extravagant, wasteful, prodigal
(immoral, abandoned to vice): immoral, licentious
profligate (plural profligates)
An abandoned person; one openly and shamelessly vicious; a dissolute person.
An overly wasteful or extravagant individual.
(overly wasteful or extravagant individual): wastrel
spendthrift and prodigal
profligate (third-person singular simple present profligates, present participle profligating, simple past and past participle profligated)
(obsolete) To drive away; to overcome. quotations
1840, Alexander Walker, Woman Physiologically Considered as to Mind, Morals, Marriage, Matrimonial Slavery, Infidelity and Divorce, page 157:
Such a stipulation would remove one powerful temptation to profligate pennyless seducers, of whom there are too many prowling in the higher circles ;
(to drive away; to overcome): overcome
: lofty in style
From post-Classical Latin magniloquens (“talkative, verbose”).
magniloquent (comparative more magniloquent,
superlative most magniloquent)
using deliberately long or esoteric words
Synonyms: bombastic, tumid, grandiloquent
disputatious \ˌdis-pyə-ˈtā-shəs\ adjective
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1864, “Visit of King James to Oxford in 1605: Tobacologia: Date of "Macbeth"”, in Notes and Queries:
argumentative, contentious, quarrelsome
conciliatory, pacific, peaceable
: not diminished or moderated in intensity or severity;
sometimes used as an intensifier
"the tour had been an unmitigated disaster"
synonyms: absolute, unqualified, categorical, complete, total,
downright, outright, utter, out-and-out, undiluted, unequivocal,
untempered, veritable, perfect, consummate, pure, sheer
"the raid was an unmitigated disaster"