AbstractWe study individual ability to memorize and recall information about friendship networks using a combination of experiments and survey-based data. In the experi- ment subjects are shown a network, in which their location is exogenously assigned, and they are then asked questions about the network after it disappears. We find that subjects exhibit three main cognitive biases: (i) they underestimate the mean degree compared to the actual network; (ii) they overestimate the number of rare degrees; (iii) they underestimate the number of frequent degrees. We then analyze survey data from two `real' friendship networks from a Silicon Valley firm and from a University Research Center. We find, somewhat remarkably, that individuals in these real networks also exhibit these biases. The experiments yield three further findings: (iv) network cognition is affected by the subject's location, (v) the accuracy of network cognition varies with the nature of the network, and (vi) network cognition has a significant effect on economic decisions.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 691.
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision: Nov 2012
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Manufacture des Tabacs, Aile Jean-Jacques Laffont, 21 Allée de Brienne, 31000 TOULOUSE
Phone: +33 (0)5 61 12 85 89
Fax: + 33 (0)5 61 12 86 37
Web page: http://www.idei.fr/
More information through EDIRC
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-01-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2012-01-18 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-NET-2012-01-18 (Network Economics)
- NEP-NEU-2012-01-18 (Neuroeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Andrea Galeotti & Sanjeev Goyal & Matthew O. Jackson & Fernando Vega-Redondo & Leeat Yariv, 2010.
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 218-244.
- Sanjeev Goyal, 2007.
"Introduction to Connections: An Introduction to the Economics of Networks
[Connections: An Introduction to the Economics of Networks]," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
- Vega-Redondo,Fernando, 2007. "Complex Social Networks," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521674096, November.
- Vega-Redondo,Fernando, 2007. "Complex Social Networks," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521857406, November.
- Urs Fischbacher, 2007. "z-Tree: Zurich toolbox for ready-made economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 171-178, June.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.