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Opinion dynamics and wisdom under conformity

Author

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  • Buechel, Berno

    (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)

  • Hellmann, Tim

    (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)

  • Klößner, Stefan

    (Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Buechel, Berno & Hellmann, Tim & Klößner, Stefan, 2014. "Opinion dynamics and wisdom under conformity," Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers 469, Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University.
  • Handle: RePEc:bie:wpaper:469
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    Cited by:

    1. Förster, Manuel & Grabisch, Michel & Rusinowska, Agnieszka, 2013. "Anonymous social influence," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 621-635.
    2. Förster, Manuel & Mauleon, Ana & Vannetelbosch, Vincent J., 2016. "Trust and manipulation in social networks," Network Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(02), pages 216-243, June.
    3. Grabisch, Michel & Rusinowska, Agnieszka, 2013. "A model of influence based on aggregation functions," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 316-330.
    4. repec:spr:sochwe:v:48:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00355-016-1023-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Matthew Jarman & Andrzej Nowak & Wojciech Borkowski & David Serfass & Alexander Wong & Robin Vallacher, 2015. "The Critical Few: Anticonformists at the Crossroads of Minority Opinion Survival and Collapse," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 18(1), pages 1-6.
    6. Bernado Moreno & María del Pino Ramos-Sosa & Ismael Rodríguez-Lara, 2016. "Conformity, information and truthful voting," Working Papers 2016-01, Universidad de Málaga, Department of Economic Theory, Málaga Economic Theory Research Center.
    7. Eger, Steffen, 2016. "Opinion dynamics and wisdom under out-group discrimination," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 97-107.
    8. David Goldbaum, 2016. "Conformity and Influence," Working Paper Series 35, Economics Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
    9. Pietro Battiston & Luca Stanca, 2014. "Boundedly Rational Opinion Dynamics in Directed Social Networks: Theory and Experimental Evidence," Working Papers 267, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2014.
    10. Prummer, Anja & Siedlarek, Jan-Peter, 2017. "Community leaders and the preservation of cultural traits," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 143-176.
    11. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00906367 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Michel Grabisch & Antoine Mandel & Agnieszka Rusinowska & Emily Tanimura, 2015. "Strategic influence in social networks," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 15006, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    13. Anja Prummer & Jan-Peter Siedlarek, 2014. "Institutions and the Preservation of Cultural Traits," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1465, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    14. Manuel Förster & Michel Grabisch & Agnieszka Rusinowska, 2012. "Ordered Weighted Averaging in Social Networks," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 12056, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    15. Battiston, Pietro & Stanca, Luca, 2015. "Boundedly rational opinion dynamics in social networks: Does indegree matter?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 400-421.
    16. Buechel, Berno & Hellmann, Tim & Pichler, Michael M., 2014. "The dynamics of continuous cultural traits in social networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 274-309.
    17. repec:wsi:acsxxx:v:20:y:2017:i:06n07:n:s0219525917500151 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Bernardo Moreno & María del Pino Ramos-Sosa, 2015. "Voting by conforminy," Working Papers 2015-03, Universidad de Málaga, Department of Economic Theory, Málaga Economic Theory Research Center.
    19. Olcina, Gonzalo & Panebianco, Fabrizio & Zenou, Yves, 2017. "Conformism, Social Norms and the Dynamics of Assimilation," CEPR Discussion Papers 12166, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Agnieszka Rusinowka & Akylai Taalaibekova, 2018. "Opinion formation and targeting when persuaders have extreme and centrist opinions," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 18005, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    21. Javarone, Marco Alberto, 2014. "Social influences in opinion dynamics: The role of conformity," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 414(C), pages 19-30.
    22. Agnieszka Rusinowska & Akylai Taalaibekova, 2018. "Opinion formation and targeting when persuaders have extreme and centrist opinions," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-01720017, HAL.
    23. Michel Grabisch & Alexis Poindron & Agnieszka Rusinowka, 2017. "A model of anonymous influence with anti-conformist agents," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 17047, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    conformity; eigenvector centrality; social networks; consensus; wisdom of crowds; opinion leadership;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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