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Opinion dynamics and wisdom under conformity

Opinion dynamics and wisdom under conformity
Opinion dynamics and wisdom under conformity
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 influence on the long-run group opinion is increasing in network centrality and decreasing in conformity. Concerning efficiency of information aggregation or “wisdom” of the society, it turns out that misrepresentation of opinions need not undermine wisdom, but may even enhance it. 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.
0165-1889
240-257
Büchel, Berno
41ca059d-2d6d-487e-9887-bc0fa5c364a3
Hellmann, Tim
e03b4edd-3010-4f6d-831e-86e4b3d6cbe0
Klößner, Stefan
b189237c-7939-4a3e-a606-47159d604062
Büchel, Berno
41ca059d-2d6d-487e-9887-bc0fa5c364a3
Hellmann, Tim
e03b4edd-3010-4f6d-831e-86e4b3d6cbe0
Klößner, Stefan
b189237c-7939-4a3e-a606-47159d604062

Büchel, Berno, Hellmann, Tim and Klößner, Stefan (2015) Opinion dynamics and wisdom under conformity. Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, 52, 240-257. (doi:10.1016/j.jedc.2014.12.006).

Record type: Article

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 influence on the long-run group opinion is increasing in network centrality and decreasing in conformity. Concerning efficiency of information aggregation or “wisdom” of the society, it turns out that misrepresentation of opinions need not undermine wisdom, but may even enhance it. 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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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 18 December 2014
e-pub ahead of print date: 29 December 2014
Published date: March 2015

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 435852
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/435852
ISSN: 0165-1889
PURE UUID: 8c6e9577-cea9-4a25-b9ff-3ce8a6da40cb

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Nov 2019 17:30
Last modified: 21 Nov 2019 17:30

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