Matthew effect

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The Matthew effect or Matthew principle refers to the effect that ascending in any kind of hierarchy (whether economic, artistic, etc.) tends to imply even more status as one gains motivation and access to more resources and social connections, etc. forming a positive feedback loop in ascension potential. Conversely, failure often implies even more failure and demotivation (downward spiral). This can explain why inequality is a human universal as it means there naturally exist strong feedback effects causing the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer.[1][2]

The term was coined by sociologist Robert K. Merton in 1968[3][4] and takes its name from the Parable of the talents or minas in the biblical Gospel of Matthew:

For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

—Matthew 25:29

Incels may often find themselves in a downward spiral as Jordan Peterson predicted in his "Monopoly Parable".

"Rich Club" Networks and Elitism[edit | edit source]

When it comes to social networks, there are "Rich Club"[5] structures that separates the elites from others. The border between then Elite subnetwork and the peripheral network can be defined by two characteristics: Inter-elite influence (from elite to peripheral) reaches the maximum, and the intra-elite influence (between elites) is matching extra-elite influence (between peripherals). The Elite is often 20% of the whole network whilst their influence (including inter-elite and intra-elite) often approaches 80%, thus abiding by the 80/20 Rule.

The other reason that led to the Matthew effect in Chads is that Chad homophily exists within a social network (citation TBD), where Chads are socially attracted to other Chads and repels incels. In a theoretical standpoint, the Bianconi–Barabási model[6] can explain this phenomena, it is based on two models, the Fitness Model[7], which dictates preferential attachment based on a "fitness" parameter (can be based on anything, e.g. Looks in the case of social interaction and dating), and Barabási–Albert model[8], which dictates connectivity distribution following the Pareto principle. The fitness model is necessary to main the trait coherence of the elite network. Similar effects can be seen with political echo chambers in twitter, where the "fitness" parameter is instead virality of information (citation TBD).

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Malcom G. 2008. Outliers: The Story of Success [Archive]
  3. Merton RK. 1968. The Matthew Effect in Science. [FullText] [Abstract]
  4. Merton RK. 1988. The Matthew Effect in Science, II: Cumulative advantage and the symbolism of intellectual property. [FullText] [Abstract]



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