Research in Memetics

Paul Marsden (
Tue, 8 Sep 1998 08:39:31 +0100

From: "Paul Marsden" <>
To: "memetics" <>
Subject: Research in Memetics
Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 08:39:31 +0100

Paul said

>I think you have touched on THE critical issue currently facing memetics -
how to
>operationalise the paradigm - i.e. stop talking about it, and start doing

And Mike said more elegantly

>So finally, here is my call to arms: To the neural folks please go find
>some neural representations and study their dynamics and report on your
>findings. To the behavioral or artifact folks, please go model some
>behavior or artifact or whatnot and report those findings. I would love
>to learn from both camps.

In blunt terms, Mike is asking us to stop producing hot air, and start
producing some results.

Now for reasons not entirely unrelated to our pre-occupation with the
exclusive production of hot air and quaint anecdotes - the academic funding
empirical memetic research is a problem issue. However what we can do NOW
is the following

1) Provide reviews on memetic related empiricalresearch
2) Draw from empirical research and provide meta-analyses of data.
3) Seek commercial funding.
4) Invite empirical researchers involved with the spread of information (qua
behaviour or however mental memeticists think information is mediated
non-behaviourally) to provide a precis of their research with its
implications for memetics in the JoM

To these ends:

I have a second interview with Europe's largest retail bank next week,
regarding the funding for a memetic analysis of their new "super" brand.

I have submitted a primer on the findings of social contagion research to
the JoM, and hopefully it will be published shortly - if not - it will
appear in Sociological Research Online.

I am also putting together a primer on the empirical findings of the
psychology of social influence and will be submitting this at the end of the

A colleague at the Free University of Brussels and I are developing a market
research tool that uses hyperttext to evolve consumer memetic maps
(attitudes, values and beliefs)

Is anybody else interested in doing memetic research?

Paul Marsden
Graduate Research Centre in the Social Sciences
University of Sussex
tel/fax (44) (0) 117 974 1279

Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission:

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