Limits...
Leadership in moving human groups.

Boos M, Pritz J, Lange S, Belz M - PLoS Comput. Biol. (2014)

Bottom Line: We showed that in a human group--on the basis of movement alone--a minority can successfully lead a majority.Minorities lead successfully when (a) their members choose similar initial steps towards their goal field and (b) they are among the first in the whole group to make a move.Even complex human behaviour, such as leadership and directed group movement, follow simple rules that are based on visual perception of local movement.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Courant Research Centre Evolution of Social Behaviour, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.

ABSTRACT
How is movement of individuals coordinated as a group? This is a fundamental question of social behaviour, encompassing phenomena such as bird flocking, fish schooling, and the innumerable activities in human groups that require people to synchronise their actions. We have developed an experimental paradigm, the HoneyComb computer-based multi-client game, to empirically investigate human movement coordination and leadership. Using economic games as a model, we set monetary incentives to motivate players on a virtual playfield to reach goals via players' movements. We asked whether (I) humans coordinate their movements when information is limited to an individual group member's observation of adjacent group member motion, (II) whether an informed group minority can lead an uninformed group majority to the minority's goal, and if so, (III) how this minority exerts its influence. We showed that in a human group--on the basis of movement alone--a minority can successfully lead a majority. Minorities lead successfully when (a) their members choose similar initial steps towards their goal field and (b) they are among the first in the whole group to make a move. Using our approach, we empirically demonstrate that the rules of swarming behaviour apply to humans. Even complex human behaviour, such as leadership and directed group movement, follow simple rules that are based on visual perception of local movement.

Show MeSH
Histogram of arrivals and fitted model (solid lines) under conditions same, direction, and omitted category (n = 40).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3974633&req=5

pcbi-1003541-g004: Histogram of arrivals and fitted model (solid lines) under conditions same, direction, and omitted category (n = 40).

Mentions: Fig. 3 and 4 depict histograms of the arrivals under conditions specified in columns 4 and 5 of Table 2, respectively, against the fitted model variants. Making the first move was associated with a lower number of arrivals if players disposed of a global overview of the playfield. Only in 4 out of 20 games was the player able to make the first move as one of the informed. If the limiting local-condition view of adjacent players only was active, the predictor first was associated with an increasing success probability, as can be seen from the lower two panels in Fig. 3.


Leadership in moving human groups.

Boos M, Pritz J, Lange S, Belz M - PLoS Comput. Biol. (2014)

Histogram of arrivals and fitted model (solid lines) under conditions same, direction, and omitted category (n = 40).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3974633&req=5

pcbi-1003541-g004: Histogram of arrivals and fitted model (solid lines) under conditions same, direction, and omitted category (n = 40).
Mentions: Fig. 3 and 4 depict histograms of the arrivals under conditions specified in columns 4 and 5 of Table 2, respectively, against the fitted model variants. Making the first move was associated with a lower number of arrivals if players disposed of a global overview of the playfield. Only in 4 out of 20 games was the player able to make the first move as one of the informed. If the limiting local-condition view of adjacent players only was active, the predictor first was associated with an increasing success probability, as can be seen from the lower two panels in Fig. 3.

Bottom Line: We showed that in a human group--on the basis of movement alone--a minority can successfully lead a majority.Minorities lead successfully when (a) their members choose similar initial steps towards their goal field and (b) they are among the first in the whole group to make a move.Even complex human behaviour, such as leadership and directed group movement, follow simple rules that are based on visual perception of local movement.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Courant Research Centre Evolution of Social Behaviour, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.

ABSTRACT
How is movement of individuals coordinated as a group? This is a fundamental question of social behaviour, encompassing phenomena such as bird flocking, fish schooling, and the innumerable activities in human groups that require people to synchronise their actions. We have developed an experimental paradigm, the HoneyComb computer-based multi-client game, to empirically investigate human movement coordination and leadership. Using economic games as a model, we set monetary incentives to motivate players on a virtual playfield to reach goals via players' movements. We asked whether (I) humans coordinate their movements when information is limited to an individual group member's observation of adjacent group member motion, (II) whether an informed group minority can lead an uninformed group majority to the minority's goal, and if so, (III) how this minority exerts its influence. We showed that in a human group--on the basis of movement alone--a minority can successfully lead a majority. Minorities lead successfully when (a) their members choose similar initial steps towards their goal field and (b) they are among the first in the whole group to make a move. Using our approach, we empirically demonstrate that the rules of swarming behaviour apply to humans. Even complex human behaviour, such as leadership and directed group movement, follow simple rules that are based on visual perception of local movement.

Show MeSH