Fractal multi-level organisation of human groups in a virtual world

Fuchs B, Sornette D, & Thurner S (2014). Fractal multi-level organisation of human groups in a virtual world. Scientific Reports 4: no.6526. DOI:10.1038/srep06526.

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Abstract

Humans are fundamentally social. They form societies which consist of hierarchically layered nested groups of various quality, size, and structure. The anthropologic literature has classified these groups as support cliques, sympathy groups, bands, cognitive groups, tribes, linguistic groups, and so on. Anthropologic data show that, on average, each group consists of approximately three subgroups. However, a general understanding of the structural dependence of groups at different layer is largely missing. We extend these early findings to a very large high-precision large-scale internet-based social network data. We analyze the organizational structure of a complete, multi-relational, large social multiplex network of a human society consisting of about 400,000 odd players of an open-ended massive multiplayer online game for which we know all about their various group memberships at different layers. Remarkably, the online players' society exhibits the same type of structured hierarchical layers as found in hunter-gatherer societies. Our findings suggest that the hierarchical organization of human society is deeply nested in human psychology.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Applied physics; Complex networks
Research Programs: Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA)
Bibliographic Reference: Scientific Reports; 4:6526 (October 2014)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:50
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2016 11:39
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/10792

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