Charting closed-loop collective cultural decisions: from book best sellers and music downloads to Twitter hashtags and Reddit comments

  • Charts are used to measure relative success for a large variety of cultural items. Traditional music charts have been shown to follow self-organizing principles with regard to the distribution of item lifetimes, the on-chart residence times. Here we examine if this observation holds also for (a) music streaming charts (b) book best-seller lists and (c) for social network activity charts, such as Twitter hashtags and the number of comments Reddit postings receive. We find that charts based on the active production of items, like commenting, are more likely to be influenced by external factors, in particular by the 24 h day–night cycle. External factors are less important for consumption-based charts (sales, downloads), which can be explained by a generic theory of decision-making. In this view, humans aim to optimize the information content of the internal representation of the outside world, which is logarithmically compressed. Further support for information maximization is argued to arise from the comparison of hourly, daily and weekly charts, which allow to gauge the importance of decision times with respect to the chart compilation period.
Author:Lukas Schneider, Johannes Scholten, Bulcsú Sándor, Claudius GrosORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):The European physical journal
Place of publication:Berlin; Heidelberg
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/08/04
Date of first Publication:2021/08/04
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/10/14
Issue:art. 161
Page Number:13
First Page:1
Last Page:13
The work of BS was supported by the research grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, CNCS/CCCDI-UEFISCDI, project nr. PN-III-P4-ID-PCCF-2016-0084. Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 30 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie / 300 Sozialwissenschaften
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0