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The Cambridge-INET Institute - continuing as the Janeway Institute


Large Scale Experiments Webinar Series - Damon Centola

Cambridge-INET, Prof. Sanjeev Goyal and Dr. Frederic Moisan are hosting a series of webinars on "Large Scale Experiments". The fourth webinar of this series will be given by Damon Centola (University of Pennsylvania) on "Large Scale Network Experiments on Tipping Points in Social Norms".

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.

Event Date: Thursday 9th July 2020

Time: 02:00pm - 03:00pm

Event Contact: Marion Reusch -

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Large Scale Experiments

Theme: networks