|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (September 2011)|
The Tinkerbell effect is a term describing things that are thought to exist only because people believe in them. The effect is named for Tinker Bell, the fairy in the play Peter Pan who is revived from near death by the belief of the audience.
Claimed cases include:
- private property
- the value of a nation's money in a fiat system
- the demand for gold outside its use in industrial applications
- civil society
- the "rule of law"
Reverse Tinkerbell effect
An example of the Reverse Tinkerbell Effect is that of a vote in a democracy. The more people that believe their vote counts towards the outcome of an election, the less their votes count, as there is a greater population of voters, and thus each individual voter has a lower percentage of total votes.
- (Fiat) money: Paper money is actually worth something only because people think it's worth something.
- Popularity: The more popular others think that someone else is, the more popular he or she actually becomes.
Reverse Tinkerbell effect:
- Car safety: The more people think that automobiles are safe, the less cautiously they will drive, creating the reverse effect.
- Value of votes: The more people believe that their vote is valuable, the higher the number of people that vote. This reduces the overall impact of any single vote.
- Brute fact
- Consensus reality
- Conventional wisdom
- Interdependent origination
- Thomas theorem
- Stewart, Cameron (2004), "The Rule of Law and the Tinkerbell Effect: Theoretical Considerations, Criticisms and Justifications for the Rule of Law", Macquarie Law Journal 4 (7): 135–164.
- Rall, Eric (2010-10-14). "Efficient Market Hypothesis and the Tinkerbell Effect". Retrieved 2011-11-06.
- Vsauce, How Much Money is there on Earth?, 2013.04.23. A video lecture discussing several examples of the Tinkerbell effect (and its reverse), such as fiat money, gold value, car safety and voting.
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