Centola Explains the Digital Network Effects of “The Dress”


Professor Damon Centola wrote an essay for The Conversation explaining the networking effects behind the phenomenon known as “The Dress.”

Drawing upon his research into how “spontaneous” social norms emerge, Centola explained how he and colleagues conducted an experiment into how consensus could emerge over the color of the dress.

“[A]fter a few rounds of interacting with other players the minority began to gain traction, eventually causing a striking shift in the network. The norm went from complete agreement on ‘black/blue’ to half saying ‘black/blue’ and half saying ‘white/gold’.”