According to the results of the research by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, it shows that the minority rules. Once the minority opinion reached 10 per cent of the population, the network quickly changes as the minority opinion takes over the original majority opinion.
The scientists used computational and analytical methods to discover the tipping point. Not only does it have implications for societal interactions, also the power of Social Media (Marketing) is reinforced. One of the implications is the power of brand advocates and their power to convince their peers, according to Danny Oosterveer.
Sameet Sreenivasan, SCNARC Research Associate and corresponding paper author, said:
“As agents of change start to convince more and more people, the situation begins to change. People begin to question their own views at first and then completely adopt the new view to spread it even further. If the true believers just influenced their neighbours, that wouldn’t change anything within the larger system, as we saw with percentages less than 10.”
“In general, people do not like to have an unpopular opinion and are always seeking to try locally to come to consensus. We set up this dynamic in each of our models.”
The research has broad implications for understanding how opinion spreads. Associate Professor of Physics and co-author of the paper Gyorgy Korniss, said:
“There are clearly situations in which it helps to know how to efficiently spread some opinion or how to suppress a developing opinion. Some examples might be the need to quickly convince a town to move before a hurricane or spread new information on the prevention of disease in a rural village.”