Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
Research ENTEG News overview

How a committed minority can change society

30 September 2021

Over the last year, handshakes have been replaced by fist or elbow bumps as a greeting. It shows that age-old social conventions can not only change, but do so suddenly. But how does this happen? Robotic engineers and marketing scientists from the University of Groningen joined forces to study this phenomenon, combining online experiments and statistical analysis into a mathematical model that shows how a committed minority can influence the majority to overturn long-standing practices. The results, which were published in Nature Communications on 29 September, may help to stimulate sustainable behaviour.

A explanation of the research can be read on the ScienceLinx News pages of our faculty.

Handshakes have been replaced by 'elbows' during the corona pandemic. | Illustration Jacinta Joe
Handshakes have been replaced by 'elbows' during the corona pandemic. | Illustration Jacinta Joe
Last modified:30 September 2021 12.40 p.m.

More news

  • 04 July 2022

    Research on how tourists become Antarctic ambassadors

    Dr Annette Scheepstra of the UG Arctic Centre, part of the Faculty of Arts, is about to conduct research into tourism in Antarctica and how tourists can become Antarctic ambassadors. She has been granted €1 million in funding by the Dutch Research...

  • 12 May 2022

    KNAW appoints two UG professors as members

    The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has appointed Professor Maria Loi and Professor Dirk Slotboom from the Faculty of Science and Engineering as members of the Academy.

  • 15 March 2022

    Vici grants for three UG researchers

    The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded three Vici grants, worth €1.5 million each, to three UG researchers. Prof. J.W Romeijn, Prof. S. Hoekstra, Prof. K.I. Caputi can use this money to develop an innovative line of research and to set up...