What can the behavior of fanatical collectors tell us about social media phenomena?

Social contagion is an area of research which seems especially pressing for those chasing the next viral hit, but it’s worth bearing in mind that it has been a subject which has fascinated and troubled psychologists and social scientist for nigh on a century. A group of Yale psychologists have isolated the fervour surrounding an Eric Clapton guitar auction as an appropriate site for investigating this phenomena.

The team uncovered some fascinating finds, many of which enforce the irrationality of reasoning which accompanies such purchases.

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