Here's Why You Might Think Like the Crowd
People make sense of the world by organizing things into categories and naming them. "These are circles." "That's a tree." "Those are rocks." It's one way we tame our world. There's a weird correspondence between different cultures, though--even though we come from different places and very different circumstances, cultures everywhere develop largely the same categorizations. "But this raises a big scientific puzzle," says Damon Centola of the University of Pennsylvania. "If people are so different, why do anthropologists find the same categories, for instance for shapes, colors, and emotions, arising independently in many different cultures? Where do these categories come from and why is there so much similarity across independent populations?"
Centola is the senior investigator of a new study in the journal Nature Communications from the Network Dynamics Group (NDG) at the Annenberg School for Communication that explores how such categorization happens. Some have theorized that these categories are innate—pre-wired in our brains--but the study says "nope." Its authors hypothesize that it has more to do with the dynamics of large groups, or networks.
The researchers tested their theory with 1,480 people playing an online "Grouping Game" via Amazon's Mechanical Turk platform. The individuals were paired with another participant or made a member of a group of 6, 8, 24, or 50 people. Each pair and group were tasked with categorizing the symbols shown above, and they could see each other's answers. The small groups came up with wildly divergent categories—the entire experiment produced nearly 5,000 category suggestions—while the larger groups came up with categorization systems that were virtually identical to each other.
Nor was this unanimity a matter of having teamed-up like-minded individuals. "If I assign an individual to a small group," says lead author Douglas Guilbeault, "they are much more likely to arrive at a category system that is very idiosyncratic and specific to them. But if I assign that same individual to a large group, I can predict the category system that they will end up creating, regardless of whatever unique viewpoint that person happens to bring to the table."
The striking results of the experiment correspond to a previous study done by NDG that investigated tipping points for people's behavior in networks. That study concluded that after an idea enters a discussion among a large network of people, it can gain irresistible traction by popping up again and again in enough individuals' conversations. In networks of 50 people or more, such ideas eventually reach critical mass and become a prevailing opinion. The same phenomenon does not happen often enough within a smaller network, where fewer interactions offer an idea less of an opportunity to take hold.
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: The human desire for consensus can override individual opinion. We are a naturally agreeable species, thus susceptible to mass media opinions. Rise above and beyond "group think" with our Cosmic Eye Elixir.
25 Useful Zen Concepts--Recognize Them?
Zen is one of the most unique perspectives on Buddhism in the world. Instead of telling the practitioner what the meaning of life is, it teaches the value of getting over life's difficulties. Patience, attentiveness, living in the moment--these are some of the highest values in Zen. These 25 pieces of Zen wisdom will help shed some light on this ancient religion…and maybe answer some of the most important questions you will ever face in life.
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: Use our Zen Meditation Elixir while contemplating these sayings.
16 Facial Expressions Common to All Cultures
Researchers from UC Berkeley and Google Research used machine learning and YouTube videos to compare common facial expressions to the situations that prompt them. The study was published in Nature. The researchers logged the facial expressions of six million videos using a machine learning algorithm. These videos were made by people from 144 different countries representing all corners of the Earth and featured various situations and subjects.
The algorithm searched the videos for 16 facial expressions commonly associated with amusement, anger, awe, concentration, confusion, contempt, contentment, desire, disappointment, doubt, elation, interest, pain, sadness, surprise, and triumph. After instances of these expressions were identified, the researchers tied the expressions to the contexts in the videos.
The scientists reviewing the data found that people are alike all over. All sixteen facial expressions popped up in similar circumstances. Everybody tends to cheer, cry, concentrate, and celebrate in similar ways. No group of people smiles when startled, shrugs when surprised, or frowns with joy. The findings suggest that 70 percent of the expressions we use to show emotional reactions are shared across cultures.
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: Consider what facial expressions you've been using a lot. If they are related to stress, use our Clean Sweep Clearing Spray for a little while, and then think about how those stress lines disappear!
Health & Healing Hack of the Week
Interesting Point of View
I love this tool when my monkey mind is jumping all over the place, usually in a crowd of people, where I'm picking up all kinds of thoughts and attitudes that aren't mine. Some of them, I really believe, and when I catch myself believing some judgment or conclusion about someone or something, I say, "Interesting Point of View I have that Point of View." This sets up a "two-point" in consciousness and collapses the wave holding the fixed point of view in place. This is especially valuable in close relationships, where we are particularly susceptible to victim/perpetrator strategies. -- From 25 No Cost Health & Healing Hacks by Boyd Martin)
Quantum Healer of the Week
"Growing up, I always felt a strong and deep angelic presence in my life. However, it wasn't until my near death experience and being in a coma 20 some years ago that I truly came to know the power of my connection to the angelic realm that resided within me. Ever since then I have sought to further develop my connection with my multidimensional body, higher self, as well as my psychic abilities. I went through intensive personal psychic development and became aware of all that I already knew. My spiritual gift to channel Archangel Gabriel came through with an amazing clarity and things only escalated from there. Healing others and shining my Light was never new to me. However, after reconnecting with all of my psychic abilities, I stepped fully into my role as a professional healer and angelic channeler. In the last decade, I aligned fully with my true purpose in this lifetime. I am here to anchor divine light, serve humanity as an spiritual ascension guide on this earthly plane, to empower others on their path, and to heal those that need a transmutation of energy from dark to light!" WEBSITE
Company & Product News
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