Peng, T. Q., & Zhu, J. J. H. (2022). Competition, cooperation, and coexistence: An ecological approach to public agenda dynamics in the United States (1958-2020). Communication Research.
The public agenda is an ecosystem in which public issues interact and compete to gain public attention. Whether this ecosystem is primarily competitive or cooperative is an unsettled question in the literature on agenda-setting. This study employs an ecological approach to explicate interissue relationships. It quantifies the nature and evolution of the issue ecosystem and examines the roles of the value orientations of issues and of individuals’ education levels and political partisanship in interissue relationships. The study compiled and analyzed the Gallup Most Important Problem polls in the United States from 1958 to 2020. The findings indicate that the issue ecosystem of the American public is essentially competitive and that the balance of competition and cooperation has remained unchanged over time. The interaction between public issues involving materialistic values was more likely to be competitive and the interaction between issues involving postmaterialistic values was more likely to be cooperative.
Peng, T. Q., Sun, G. D., & Wu, Y. C. (2017). Interplay between public attention and public emotion toward multiple social issues on Twitter. PLoS ONE, 12, e0167896.
This study aims to elucidate the intricate interplay between public attention and public emotion toward multiple social issues. A theoretical framework is developed based on three perspectives including endogenous affect hypothesis, affect transfer hypothesis, and affective intelligence theory. Large-scale longitudinal data with 265 million tweets on five social issues are analyzed using a time series analytical approach. Public attention on social issues can influence public emotion on the issue per se. Social issues interact with one another to attract public attention in both cooperative and competitive ways. Instead of a direct transfer from public emotion to public attention, the public emotion toward a social issue moderates the interaction between the issue and other issue(s).
Sun, G. D., Wu, Y. C., Liu, S. X., Peng, T. Q., Zhu, J. J. H., & Liang, R. F. (2014). EvoRiver: Visual Analysis of Topic Coopetition on Social Media. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 20, 1753-1762. Demo Video
Cooperation and competition (jointly called “coopetition”) are two modes of interactions among a set of concurrent topics on social media. How do topics cooperate or compete with each other to gain public attention? Which topics tend to cooperate or compete with one another? Who plays the key role in coopetition-related interactions? We answer these intricate questions by proposing a visual analytics system that facilitates the in-depth analysis of topic coopetition on social media. We model the complex interactions among topics as a combination of carry-over, coopetition recruitment, and coopetition distraction effects. This model provides a close functional approximation of the coopetition process by depicting how different groups of influential users (i.e., “topic leaders”) affect coopetition. We also design EvoRiver, a time-based visualization, that allows users to explore coopetition-related interactions and to detect dynamically evolving patterns, as well as their major causes. We test our model and demonstrate the usefulness of our system based on two Twitter data sets (social topics data and business topics data).
Xu, P. P., Wu, Y. C., Wei, E. X., Peng, T. Q., Liu, S. X., Zhu, J. J. H., & Qu, H. M. (2013). Visual Analysis of Topic Competition on Social Media. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 19, 2012-2021. Demo Video
How do various topics compete for public attention when they are spreading on social media? What roles do opinion leaders play in the rise and fall of competitiveness of various topics? In this study, we propose an expanded topic competition model to characterize the competition for public attention on multiple topics promoted by various opinion leaders on social media. To allow an intuitive understanding of the estimated measures, we present a timeline visualization through a metaphoric interpretation of the results. The visual design features both topical and social aspects of the information diffusion process by compositing ThemeRiver with storyline style visualization. ThemeRiver shows the increase and decrease of competitiveness of each topic. Opinion leaders are drawn as threads that converge or diverge with regard to their roles in influencing the public agenda change over time. To validate the effectiveness of the visual analysis techniques, we report the insights gained on two collections of Tweets: the 2012 United States presidential election and the Occupy Wall Street movement.