Social chain of beliefs

Scientists have studied how online and offline networks is subject to opinion. Experiments have shown that other people’s judgments, we adopt primarily from individuals, kotori know and believe to be competent. If someone expresses an opinion, it affects not only their friends but also their friends. However, with increasing social distance influence wanes, reports a team of scientists.

Today social media is to determine the leisure of millions of people. On Facebook, Twitter, etc. users read messages and news, communicate with their friends. In this distribute not only their own beliefs but someone else’s. What are the opinions we adopt from others and what is not, depends on many social factors. So, the probability that the message will be distributed increases, when we receive it from different sources or when we like people because they remind us of ourselves. But why do some ideas spread faster than others?

Opinion: the balance between partners

This question was asked of scientists headed by Mosaica Mehdi (Mehdi Moussaid) from the max Planck Institute. The researchers examined the circumstances under which the opinion of one person perceives another, and how far in the communicative chain that opinion can spread.

For this 100 subjects who were not familiar with before, took part and the experiment. They had to solve a problem: a randomly chosen partner of the test subject determined in the direction most of the 50 points. Both participants sat in front of their own screen and had in each round to make my own decision. Only one of the pair was given the opportunity to compare its decision with that which was received by the partner, and again to change their verdict. In addition, he saw how well-managed counterpart.

The effect increases with increase in social reach

How much was influenced by the comparison with the partner on your own decision? The result showed that the human impact on other the more, the better they know each other. “In the beginning the subjects were inclined to ignore the opinion of colleagues, but after repeated interactions, they fell under the strong influence of each other,” said Mosaid.

It was only in the case when the author of the judgment tasks better than his partner who was peeping. That is, the mistakes of other subjects were considered more serious than one’s own, according to Mosaid with colleagues.

Thanks to the second experiment, the scientists figured out the dynamics of the spread of views. The test procedure was the same as in the first experiment. However, the chain of communication consisted of six subjects, and each party knew the person who made the decision directly to him. The first person in the chain had the advantage: he got the job less complicated than others.

How far in this long chain was passed to the solution first? Scientists noticed that the decision of the first subjects affected not only the next in line, but on third and fourth circuit — that is, those that are not in contact with first directly. However, as the distance from the source of the effect declined and in the last in the chain of influence is not affected. Influence on friends of friends

“In the subsequent modeling, we were able to show that the influence, which disappears with the growth of social distance associated with overvalued mistakes of others, as well as information distortion in the distribution,” says Mosaed. It turned out, people have a big impact not only on the decisions of their friends, but also on the views of friends of friends.

“Our result helps to understand the processes of social distribution of opinions. We can demonstrate that they spread due to direct contact, as an infectious disease,” concluded a team of scientists.

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