28 July 2011

27 July 2011

Tipping Point for the Spread of Ideas, just 10%

Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.

The finding has implications for the study and influence of societal interactions ranging from the spread of innovations to the movement of political ideals. As an example, the ongoing events in Tunisia and Egypt appear to exhibit a similar process, according to Szymanski. "In those countries, dictators who were in power for decades were suddenly overthrown in just a few weeks."

"In general, people do not like to have an unpopular opinion and are always seeking to try locally to come to consensus. each of the individuals in the models "talked" to each other about their opinion. If the listener held the same opinions as the speaker, it reinforced the listener's belief. If the opinion was different, the listener considered it and moved on to talk to another person. If that person also held this new belief, the listener then adopted that belief.

Source: Science Daily

How do you measure wellbeing and happiness

The Office for National Statistics in UK was asked by the Prime Minister David Cameron last November to find out - or at least to work out how to find out.
After a six month-long consultation the wellbeing project came to the conclusion of a crucial difference:
* happiness is one intangible thing.
* wellbeing is - they say - measurable in the same way our economy is.

The project leader said:
It is essential that the set of measures of well-being is relevant and well-based in what matters to people, both as individuals and for the UK as a whole

So, how will they do it? The study has been split into a search for two types of indicators - subjective ones about how we feel and objective measures of things that affect our wellbeing.

On top on 4 extra questions in the Integrated Household Survey (IHS), they plan to investigate four major areas:
* Childhood
* Economy and inequality
* Health
* Work/life balance

The first results are expected back in July 2012.

Source: The Guardian