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Los mercados de opinión pública
[The markets of public opinion]

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  • Estrada, Fernando

Abstract

This paper proposes a central idea in diffusion research is that influential –a minority of individuals who influence an exceptional number of their peers- are important to formation of public opinion. Here we examine this idea, which we call the “influential hypothesis”, using the experiments of Watts-Salganik-Dodds in computer simulation of interpersonal influence processes with the works of Herbert Simon in “Bounded Rationality”. Under most conditions that we consider, we find that large cascades of influence are driven not by influential, but by a critical mass of easily influenced individuals. Although our results do no exclude the possibility that influential can be important, they suggest that the influential hypothesis requires more careful specification and testing than it has received.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 20161.

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Date of creation: 19 Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:20161

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Related research

Keywords: Economics of Networks; Game Theory; Public Opinion; Mass Media; Information Systems; Social Methods;

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  1. Simon, Herbert A, 1979. "Rational Decision Making in Business Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(4), pages 493-513, September.
  2. Massimo Egidi & Luigi Marengo, 2002. "Cognition, institutions, near decomposability: rethinking Herbert Simon's contribution," CEEL Working Papers 0206, Cognitive and Experimental Economics Laboratory, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  3. Kaufman, Bruce E., 1999. "Emotional arousal as a source of bounded rationality," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 135-144, February.
  4. Simon, Herbert A., 2000. "Barriers and bounds to Rationality," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-2), pages 243-253, July.
  5. Minkes, A. L. & Foxall, Gordon R., 2003. "Herbert Simon and the concept of dispersed entrepreneurship," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 221-228, April.
  6. Langlois, Richard N., 2003. "Cognitive comparative advantage and the organization of work: Lessons from Herbert Simon's vision of the future," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 167-187, April.
  7. Herbert A. Simon, 1991. "Organizations and Markets," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 25-44, Spring.
  8. Simon, Herbert A., 1984. "On the behavioral and rational foundations of economic dynamics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 35-55, March.
  9. Galam, Serge & Vignes, Annick, 2005. "Fashion, novelty and optimality: an application from Physics," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 351(2), pages 605-619.
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