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Timescales of massive human entrainment.

Fusaroli R, Perlman M, Mislove A, Paxton A, Matlock T, Dale R - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: We show that collective social behavior covaries second-by-second to the interactional dynamics of the debates: A candidate speaking induces rapid increases in mentions of his name on social media and decreases in mentions of the other candidate.Thus we demonstrate that large-scale human entrainment may hold across a number of distinct scales, in an exquisitely time-locked fashion.The methods and results pave the way for careful study of the dynamics and mechanisms of large-scale human entrainment.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark; Center for Semiotics, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.

ABSTRACT
The past two decades have seen an upsurge of interest in the collective behaviors of complex systems composed of many agents entrained to each other and to external events. In this paper, we extend the concept of entrainment to the dynamics of human collective attention. We conducted a detailed investigation of the unfolding of human entrainment--as expressed by the content and patterns of hundreds of thousands of messages on Twitter--during the 2012 US presidential debates. By time-locking these data sources, we quantify the impact of the unfolding debate on human attention at three time scales. We show that collective social behavior covaries second-by-second to the interactional dynamics of the debates: A candidate speaking induces rapid increases in mentions of his name on social media and decreases in mentions of the other candidate. Moreover, interruptions by an interlocutor increase the attention received. We also highlight a distinct time scale for the impact of salient content during the debates: Across well-known remarks in each debate, mentions in social media start within 5-10 seconds after it occurs; peak at approximately one minute; and slowly decay in a consistent fashion across well-known events during the debates. Finally, we show that public attention after an initial burst slowly decays through the course of the debates. Thus we demonstrate that large-scale human entrainment may hold across a number of distinct scales, in an exquisitely time-locked fashion. The methods and results pave the way for careful study of the dynamics and mechanisms of large-scale human entrainment.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

The temporal profile of public attention to salient events.At the onset of a salient event, mention of the word (in the context of either "Obama" or "Romney") rapidly rises within 10 seconds (left panel). Mentions are max scaled to facilitate comparison. Right panel shows retweets separately from original tweets, showing the expected delay. Interestingly, these salient events show distinct temporal signatures in their onset and rise to maximum, both in the profile of tweets and retweets. For original tweets, first mention for Big Bird, binder, and bayonet respectively is 4, 5, and 11 seconds; their maximum is achieved at 42, 23, and 67 seconds. In the retweet data, this is lagged, with first retweets at 31, 14, and 17 seconds; maximum achieved at 99, 80, and 78 seconds, respectively for Big Bird, binder, and bayonet.
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pone.0122742.g005: The temporal profile of public attention to salient events.At the onset of a salient event, mention of the word (in the context of either "Obama" or "Romney") rapidly rises within 10 seconds (left panel). Mentions are max scaled to facilitate comparison. Right panel shows retweets separately from original tweets, showing the expected delay. Interestingly, these salient events show distinct temporal signatures in their onset and rise to maximum, both in the profile of tweets and retweets. For original tweets, first mention for Big Bird, binder, and bayonet respectively is 4, 5, and 11 seconds; their maximum is achieved at 42, 23, and 67 seconds. In the retweet data, this is lagged, with first retweets at 31, 14, and 17 seconds; maximum achieved at 99, 80, and 78 seconds, respectively for Big Bird, binder, and bayonet.

Mentions: Twitter behavior was influenced by the occurrence of salient remarks that took place during the debates. Focusing on tweets containing the root terms “big bird” (10,076 mentions), “binder” (2,889), or “bayonet” (5,458), we analyzed the temporal development of Twitter behavior following the precise onset of each event. Our analysis shows that Twitter behavior displayed a remarkably similar temporal profile for each of these events. The first mention of the terms occurred within 11 seconds, and tweet rates peaked at about one minute after its onset, followed by a slow decay over the next few minutes (Fig. 5). Using the model of meme initiation and propagation we described in the previous section (Eq. 1), we model these temporal profiles in Fig. 6. It can be observed that distinct meme-like events can be modeled with the same functional form, and model parameters may serve to characterize subtle distinctions among them as further shown in the discussion.


Timescales of massive human entrainment.

Fusaroli R, Perlman M, Mislove A, Paxton A, Matlock T, Dale R - PLoS ONE (2015)

The temporal profile of public attention to salient events.At the onset of a salient event, mention of the word (in the context of either "Obama" or "Romney") rapidly rises within 10 seconds (left panel). Mentions are max scaled to facilitate comparison. Right panel shows retweets separately from original tweets, showing the expected delay. Interestingly, these salient events show distinct temporal signatures in their onset and rise to maximum, both in the profile of tweets and retweets. For original tweets, first mention for Big Bird, binder, and bayonet respectively is 4, 5, and 11 seconds; their maximum is achieved at 42, 23, and 67 seconds. In the retweet data, this is lagged, with first retweets at 31, 14, and 17 seconds; maximum achieved at 99, 80, and 78 seconds, respectively for Big Bird, binder, and bayonet.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4400172&req=5

pone.0122742.g005: The temporal profile of public attention to salient events.At the onset of a salient event, mention of the word (in the context of either "Obama" or "Romney") rapidly rises within 10 seconds (left panel). Mentions are max scaled to facilitate comparison. Right panel shows retweets separately from original tweets, showing the expected delay. Interestingly, these salient events show distinct temporal signatures in their onset and rise to maximum, both in the profile of tweets and retweets. For original tweets, first mention for Big Bird, binder, and bayonet respectively is 4, 5, and 11 seconds; their maximum is achieved at 42, 23, and 67 seconds. In the retweet data, this is lagged, with first retweets at 31, 14, and 17 seconds; maximum achieved at 99, 80, and 78 seconds, respectively for Big Bird, binder, and bayonet.
Mentions: Twitter behavior was influenced by the occurrence of salient remarks that took place during the debates. Focusing on tweets containing the root terms “big bird” (10,076 mentions), “binder” (2,889), or “bayonet” (5,458), we analyzed the temporal development of Twitter behavior following the precise onset of each event. Our analysis shows that Twitter behavior displayed a remarkably similar temporal profile for each of these events. The first mention of the terms occurred within 11 seconds, and tweet rates peaked at about one minute after its onset, followed by a slow decay over the next few minutes (Fig. 5). Using the model of meme initiation and propagation we described in the previous section (Eq. 1), we model these temporal profiles in Fig. 6. It can be observed that distinct meme-like events can be modeled with the same functional form, and model parameters may serve to characterize subtle distinctions among them as further shown in the discussion.

Bottom Line: We show that collective social behavior covaries second-by-second to the interactional dynamics of the debates: A candidate speaking induces rapid increases in mentions of his name on social media and decreases in mentions of the other candidate.Thus we demonstrate that large-scale human entrainment may hold across a number of distinct scales, in an exquisitely time-locked fashion.The methods and results pave the way for careful study of the dynamics and mechanisms of large-scale human entrainment.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Interacting Minds Centre, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark; Center for Semiotics, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.

ABSTRACT
The past two decades have seen an upsurge of interest in the collective behaviors of complex systems composed of many agents entrained to each other and to external events. In this paper, we extend the concept of entrainment to the dynamics of human collective attention. We conducted a detailed investigation of the unfolding of human entrainment--as expressed by the content and patterns of hundreds of thousands of messages on Twitter--during the 2012 US presidential debates. By time-locking these data sources, we quantify the impact of the unfolding debate on human attention at three time scales. We show that collective social behavior covaries second-by-second to the interactional dynamics of the debates: A candidate speaking induces rapid increases in mentions of his name on social media and decreases in mentions of the other candidate. Moreover, interruptions by an interlocutor increase the attention received. We also highlight a distinct time scale for the impact of salient content during the debates: Across well-known remarks in each debate, mentions in social media start within 5-10 seconds after it occurs; peak at approximately one minute; and slowly decay in a consistent fashion across well-known events during the debates. Finally, we show that public attention after an initial burst slowly decays through the course of the debates. Thus we demonstrate that large-scale human entrainment may hold across a number of distinct scales, in an exquisitely time-locked fashion. The methods and results pave the way for careful study of the dynamics and mechanisms of large-scale human entrainment.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus