Matthew effect

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(Redirected from Metthew effect)

The Matthew effect or Matthew principle refers to the effect that ascending in any kind of hierarchy (whether economic, artistic etc.) tends to imply even more status as one gains motivation and access to more resources and social connections etc. forming a positive feedback loop in ascension potential. Conversely, failure often implies even more failure and demotivation (downward spiral). This can explain why inequality is a human universal as it means there naturally exist strong feedback effects causing the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer.[1][2]

The term was coined by sociologist Robert K. Merton in 1968[3][4] and takes its name from the Parable of the talents or minas in the biblical Gospel of Matthew:

For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

—Matthew 25:29

Incels may often find themselves in a downward spiral.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Malcom G. 2008. Outliers: The Story of Success [Archive]
  2. https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB122671469296530435
  3. Merton RK. 1968. The Matthew Effect in Science. [FullText] [Abstract]
  4. Merton RK. 1988. The Matthew Effect in Science, II: Cumulative advantage and the symbolism of intellectual property. [FullText] [Abstract]

See also[edit | edit source]

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