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Opinion dynamics and wisdom under conformity

  • Buechel, Berno

    (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)

  • Hellmann, Tim

    (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)

  • Klößner, Stefan

    (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)

We study a dynamic model of opinion formation in social networks. In our model, boundedly rational agents update opinions by averaging over their neighbors' expressed opinions, but may misrepresent their own opinion by conforming or counter-conforming with their neighbors. We show that an agent's social influencev on the long-run group opinion is increasing in network centrality and decreasing in conformity. For efficiency of information aggregation (\wisdom"), misrepresentation of opinions need not undermine wisdom. Given the network, we provide the optimal distribution of conformity levels in the society and show which agents should be more conforming in order to increase wisdom.

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File URL: https://pub.uni-bielefeld.de/download/2674005/2674007
File Function: First Version, 2013
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Paper provided by Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University in its series Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers with number 469.

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Date of creation: 29 Apr 2014
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Handle: RePEc:bie:wpaper:469
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