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Influential Listeners: An Experiment on Persuasion Bias in Social Networks

Author

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  • Luca Corazzini
  • Filippo Pavesi
  • Beatrice Petrovich
  • Luca Stanca

    ()

Abstract

This paper presents an experimental investigation of persuasion bias, a form of bounded rationality whereby agents communicating through a social network are unable to account for possible repetitions in the information they receive. The results indicate that network structure plays a significant role in determining social influence. However, the most influential agents are not those with more outgoing links, as predicted by the persuasion bias hypothesis, but those with more incoming links. We show that a boundedly rational updating rule that takes into account not only agents' outdegree, but also their indegree, provides a better explanation of the experimental data. In this framework, consensus beliefs tend to be swayed towards the opinions of influential listeners. We then present an effort-weighted updating model as a more general characterization of information aggregation in social networks.

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Corazzini & Filippo Pavesi & Beatrice Petrovich & Luca Stanca, 2010. "Influential Listeners: An Experiment on Persuasion Bias in Social Networks," Working Papers 196, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:196
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mantilla, César, 2015. "Communication networks in common-pool resource games: Field experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 215-226.
    2. Eger, Steffen, 2016. "Opinion dynamics and wisdom under out-group discrimination," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 97-107.
    3. Buechel, Berno & Hellmann, Tim & Klößner, Stefan, 2015. "Opinion dynamics and wisdom under conformity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, pages 240-257.
    4. Enke, Benjamin & Zimmermann, Florian, 2013. "Correlation Neglect in Belief Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 7372, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. 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.
    6. repec:wsi:acsxxx:v:20:y:2017:i:06n07:n:s0219525917500151 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Mobius, Markus & Phan, Tuan & Szeidl, Adam, 2015. "Treasure Hunt: Social Learning in the Field," CEPR Discussion Papers 10493, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. 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.
    9. Brandts, Jordi & Giritligil, Ayça Ebru & Weber, Roberto A., 2015. "An experimental study of persuasion bias and social influence in networks," European Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 214-229.
    10. David Goldbaum, 2016. "Conformity and Influence," Working Paper Series 35, Economics Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
    11. Astrid Gamba & Elena Manzoni & Luca Stanca, 2017. "Social comparison and risk taking behavior," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 82(2), pages 221-248, February.
    12. Golub Benjamin & Jackson Matthew O., 2012. "Does Homophily Predict Consensus Times? Testing a Model of Network Structure via a Dynamic Process," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, pages 1-31.
    13. Enke, Benjamin & Zimmermann, Florian, 2013. "Correlation Neglect in Belief Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 7372, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Syngjoo Choi & Edoardo Gallo & Shachar Kariv, 2015. "Networks in the laboratory," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1551, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    15. David Goldbaum, 2016. "Networks formation to assist decision making," Working Paper Series 37, Economics Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
    16. Melguizo, Isabel, 2017. "Homophily and the Persistence of Disagreement," MPRA Paper 77367, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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