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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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Multiple regression fits for all 3 debates.Variance accounted for by salient events, a quadratic time term, who is talking, and whether interruption is taking place accounts for between 42% and 53% of the variance in observed tweet rate. See text and Supporting Information for further details on the model.
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pone.0122742.g007: Multiple regression fits for all 3 debates.Variance accounted for by salient events, a quadratic time term, who is talking, and whether interruption is taking place accounts for between 42% and 53% of the variance in observed tweet rate. See text and Supporting Information for further details on the model.

Mentions: The prior analyses demonstrated each time scale’s relevance separately, and we wished to test in a simple way whether all of these factors contribute simultaneously to tweet rate. To do so, we developed a multiple regression model with all time scales as variables accounting for tweet rate. We factored in salient events, modeled as a decay function along with temporal variables for speaker, whether interruptions were taking place, and at the broadest scale, a quadratic term representing the start and end of the debate. In each debate, the full regression model accounted for almost 50% of the variance in tweet rate (see Fig. 7). All variables also significantly (p < 0.05) and uniquely contributed to this variance (see Table 6). This regression analysis suggests that all time-varying properties that we have analyzed above contribute to the ebb and flow of public attention as reflected in tweet mentions. Put another way, the temporal variation in tweet rate may contain signatures of various time-scales of attentional processes taking place simultaneously in these massively shared experiences. These processes are influenced by broad exposure to the debate itself, by more local events, such as conversational interruptions and by the salient remarks that give rise to memes.


Timescales of massive human entrainment.

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

Multiple regression fits for all 3 debates.Variance accounted for by salient events, a quadratic time term, who is talking, and whether interruption is taking place accounts for between 42% and 53% of the variance in observed tweet rate. See text and Supporting Information for further details on the model.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

pone.0122742.g007: Multiple regression fits for all 3 debates.Variance accounted for by salient events, a quadratic time term, who is talking, and whether interruption is taking place accounts for between 42% and 53% of the variance in observed tweet rate. See text and Supporting Information for further details on the model.
Mentions: The prior analyses demonstrated each time scale’s relevance separately, and we wished to test in a simple way whether all of these factors contribute simultaneously to tweet rate. To do so, we developed a multiple regression model with all time scales as variables accounting for tweet rate. We factored in salient events, modeled as a decay function along with temporal variables for speaker, whether interruptions were taking place, and at the broadest scale, a quadratic term representing the start and end of the debate. In each debate, the full regression model accounted for almost 50% of the variance in tweet rate (see Fig. 7). All variables also significantly (p < 0.05) and uniquely contributed to this variance (see Table 6). This regression analysis suggests that all time-varying properties that we have analyzed above contribute to the ebb and flow of public attention as reflected in tweet mentions. Put another way, the temporal variation in tweet rate may contain signatures of various time-scales of attentional processes taking place simultaneously in these massively shared experiences. These processes are influenced by broad exposure to the debate itself, by more local events, such as conversational interruptions and by the salient remarks that give rise to memes.

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