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Boundedly Rational Opinion Dynamics in Directed Social Networks: Theory and Experimental Evidence

  • Pietro Battiston
  • Luca Stanca

This paper investigates opinion dynamics and social influence in directed communication networks. We study the properties of a generalized boundedly rational model of opinion formation in which individuals aggregate the information they receive by using weights that are a function of their neighbors' indegree. We then present an experiment designed to test the predictions of the model. We find that both Bayesian updating and boundedly rational updating à la DeMarzo et al. (2003) are rejected by the data. Consistent with our theoretical predictions, the social influence of an agent is positively and significantly affected by the number of individuals she listens to. When forming their opinions, agents do take into account the structure of the communication network, although in a sub-optimal way.

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File URL: http://dipeco.economia.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper267.pdf
File Function: First version, 2014
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Paper provided by University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 267.

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Length: 42
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision: Jan 2014
Handle: RePEc:mib:wpaper:267
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  12. Rainer Hegselmann & Ulrich Krause, 2005. "Opinion Dynamics Driven by Various Ways of Averaging," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 25(4), pages 381-405, June.
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  14. Berno Buechel & Tim Hellmann & Stefan Kloessner, 2012. "Opinion Dynamics under Conformity," Working Papers 469, Bielefeld University, Center for Mathematical Economics.
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  16. Daron Acemoglu & Munther A. Dahleh & Ilan Lobel & Asuman Ozdaglar, 2011. "Bayesian Learning in Social Networks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1201-1236.
  17. Rainer Hegselmann & Ulrich Krause, 2002. "Opinion Dynamics and Bounded Confidence Models, Analysis and Simulation," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 5(3), pages 2.
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