Understanding population wide attitude change is an important step to understanding the behavior of societies. In this talk, we will study population wide attitude change through the use of computational models. Using a model based on parallel constraint satisfaction, we will show how varying parameters, such as cognitive effort, and community structure, can impact attitude change in populations.
The anti-vaccination movement threatens public health by reducing the likelihood of disease eradication. With social media's purported role in disseminating anti-vaccine information, it is imperative to understand the drivers of attitudes among participants involved in the vaccination debate on a communication channel critical to the movement: Twitter. Using four years of longitudinal data capturing vaccine discussions on Twitter, we identify users who persistently hold pro and anti attitudes, and those who newly adopt anti attitudes towards vaccination. After gathering each user's entire Twitter timeline, totaling to over 3 million tweets, we explore differences in the individual narratives across the user cohorts. We find that those with long-term anti-vaccination attitudes manifest conspiratorial thinking, mistrust in government, and are resolute and in-group focused in language. New adoptees appear to be predisposed to form anti-vaccination attitudes via similar government distrust and general paranoia, but are more social and less certain than their long-term counterparts. We discuss how this apparent predisposition can interact with social media-fueled events to bring newcomers into the anti-vaccination movement. Given the strong base of conspiratorial thinking underlying anti-vaccination attitudes, we conclude by highlighting the need for alternatives to traditional methods of using authoritative sources such as the government when correcting misleading vaccination claims.
Britain's Prince William has created history by becoming the first member of the royal family to be on the cover of a gay publication by appearing on U.K. magazine "Attitude." The second-in-line to the throne chose the platform to speak out against bullying people because of their sexuality. "No one should be bullied for their sexuality or any other reason and no one should have to put up with the kind of hate that these young people have endured in their lives," he said. William also called on young people being bullied for their sexuality to seek help. "What I would say to any young person reading this who's being bullied for their sexuality: don't put up with it -- speak to a trusted adult, a friend, a teacher, Childline, Diana Award or some other service and get the help you need.
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: I wouldn't be surprised if social workers focus on them in a greater fashion than they do the underclass of Chicago. We have this -- I don't know what it is. It's some kind of weird, cultural tick that if you're not a citizen and you're coming into the country, even without legality or maybe not through the legal, lengthy process, we're going to do all we can for you in a way that we kind of abandoned our own. I don't know how else to explain it because if you're a young African-American child, growing up in Chicago, I think we're going to give your parents some money or subsidies, but we're really out of sight, out of mind. That's a terrible thing to say, but I think that's our attitude.
More than a quarter of British people hold at least one anti-Semitic view, according to a study of attitudes to Jewish people. The Institute for Jewish Policy Research said the finding came from the largest and most detailed survey of attitudes towards Jews and Israel ever conducted in Britain. But it said the study did not mean that British people were anti-Semitic. Researchers also found a correlation in anti-Jewish and anti-Israel attitudes. The study found a relatively small number of British adults - 2.4% - expressed multiple anti-Semitic attitudes "readily and confidently".