Browsing All posts tagged under »metaphor«

I’ll have what she’s having: Mapping Social Behavior

Deputy Director of the Tipping Points project, Dr Alex Bentley, is the lead author of a new book published by MIT Press.  This is a truly exciting work that looks at how ideas and activities spread through social copying.  Summary provided by MIT Press: Humans are, first and foremost, social creatures. And this, according to […]

The spread of minority beliefs

September 2, 2011 by


A study from the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center based at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York State, USA analysed the influence of committed minority beliefs on populations.  Researchers found that once the minority beliefs of a population pushes beyond 10 percent it rapidly decreases the amount of time needed for the belief to […]

Tipping Points Annual Report 2010-2011

The first annual report from the Tipping Points project is now available.  It gives an overview of the project’s progress so far along with its aims and goals for the future. In its first year the project has shown that there is clearly much more to tipping point than simply being a popular ‘buzz word’ […]

Podcast: What is a tipping point?

May 23, 2011 by


If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard or seen tipping point used a number of times in so many different contexts that it seems almost impossible to pin down what exactly the term might mean.  Or…maybe you already have a clear definition that suits you and you’re happy to use it when communicating with others […]

The Tipping Point of the ‘Tipping Point’ Metaphor

May 11, 2011 by


Dr Pojanath Bhatanacharoen presented an incredibly interesting paper at a conference hosted by the University of Hull in the UK, ‘Organisational Learning, Knowledge and Capabilities’.  Her research along with the rest of the WP4 team including Prof David Greatbatch, Prof Tim Clark and Dr Alex Bentley, analyse the use of the tipping point metaphor through […]

How to predict tipping points

April 11, 2011 by


Are tipping points inherently unpredictable?  Some physical and social scientists tend to think so and say that even if people were able to predict the point before a tip it would be too late.  But others are a little more optimistic.  Mark Buchanan, a member of the Tipping Points project’s advisory council who is a […]

State of the union address response: Is the US coming to a ‘tipping point’?

January 27, 2011 by


In his response to US President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, Republican congressman Paul Ryan said the US economy needed to cut spending or the economy could come to a ‘tipping point': We believe the days of business as usual must come to an end. We hold to a couple of simple convictions: […]

‘Tipping point’ usage over the years

January 18, 2011 by


Google is very useful for finding out how often terms are used and in what context.  As you can see from the chart above, a basic search for ‘tipping point’ reveals a large spike in usage after 1960.  This likely indicates when tipping point was first used in sociology.  In 2000 it went up again, […]

Climate change modelling and polar bears

December 22, 2010 by


The polar bear has become an icon of climate change, its struggle for survival a forewarning that people are affecting the planet’s climate in ways that are harming life on Earth at a scale that is almost unimaginable.  But a recent article featured in New Scientist, ‘No tipping point for polar bears’ Arctic ice’, reports […]

How stuff spreads

Dr Alex Bentley, one of the lead researchers of Work Package 4 of the Tipping Points project  gives a fascinating talk about how social trends and commodities from eyeglasses to mobile phones diffuse through culture.  He gives particular attention to the role of internet-based social networks such as Facebook and the influence they have in […]


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