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

Mar 07, 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: Google's Street View address reading software also able to decipher CAPTCHAs

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

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New model for epidemic contagion

Jan 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

Jul 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

Oct 05, 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

Ant colonies help evacuees in disaster zones

Apr 16, 2014

An escape route mapping system based on the behavior of ant colonies could give evacuees a better chance of reaching safe harbor after a natural disaster or terrorist attack by building a map of showing the shortest routes ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

Small underground nuclear power plants that could be cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts may herald the future for an energy industry under intense scrutiny since the Fukushima disaster, the ...

Clean air: Fewer sources for self-cleaning

Up to now, HONO, also known as nitrous acid, was considered one of the most important sources of hydroxyl radicals (OH), which are regarded as the detergent of the atmosphere, allowing the air to clean itself. ...

Turning off depression in the brain

Scientists have traced vulnerability to depression-like behaviors in mice to out-of-balance electrical activity inside neurons of the brain's reward circuit and experimentally reversed it – but there's ...