Model for fashion cycles shows how people create and respond to trends

March 7, 2012

A new computational model accurately reproduces the way fashions travel through a culture, as reported in the Mar. 7 issue of the open access journal PLoS ONE.

The model's new feature is the assumption that people copy others' preferences for cultural traits (such as clothing styles), as well as the traits themselves. Previously proposed models were the "status" model, in which a fashion arises because people copy the choices of someone of high status, and the "neutral model," in which people copy each other randomly.

The new model, dubbed the "preference model," was better at reproducing observed behavior than either of the other two, the authors write.

Specifically, the results agreed with two empirical observations: that only a few cultural traits, among the many invented, become very popular, and that trends with rapidly increasing popularity are also abandoned quickly. The work was led by Alberto Acerbi of the University of Stockholm.

Explore further: Our ability to model past climates does not guarantee future success

More information: Acerbi A, Ghirlanda S, Enquist M (2012) The Logic of Fashion Cycles. PLoS ONE 7(3): e32541. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032541

Related Stories

New model for epidemic contagion

January 11, 2012

Humans are considered the hosts for spreading epidemics. The speed at which an epidemic spreads is now better understood thanks to a new model accounting for the provincial nature of human mobility, according to a study published ...

Common Korean surname tells tale of nationhood

July 28, 2011

The most common surname in Korea – Kim – has been traced back 1500 years using a statistical model, providing evidence of a strong, stable culture that has remained intact to this day.

Model unfolds proteins gently

October 5, 2010

Protein molecules inside cells are constantly reorganizing themselves, driven by very tiny forces exerted by all the other molecules in their crowded environment. Most experimental techniques and theoretical/computational ...

Recommended for you

Tech titans join to study artificial intelligence

September 29, 2016

Major technology firms have joined forces in a partnership on artificial intelligence, aiming to cooperate on "best practices" on using the technology "to benefit people and society."

MIT's flea market specializes in rare, obscure electronics

September 25, 2016

Once a month in the summer, a small parking lot on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's campus transforms into a high-tech flea market known for its outlandish offerings. Tables overflow with antique radio equipment, ...

First test of driverless minibus in Paris Saturday

September 24, 2016

The French capital's transport authority will on Saturday carry out its first test of a driverless minibus, in the hope that regular routes for the hi-tech vehicles will be up and running within two years.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.