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Network cognition

Roberta Dessi, Edoardo Gallo and Sanjeev Goyal

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2016, vol. 123, issue C, 78-96

Abstract: We study individual ability to memorize and recall information about friendship networks using a combination of experiments and survey-based data. In the experiment subjects are shown a network, in which their location is exogenously assigned, and they are then asked questions about the network after it disappears. We find that subjects exhibit three main cognitive biases: (i) they underestimate the mean degree compared to the actual network; (ii) they overestimate the number of rare degrees; (iii) they underestimate the number of frequent degrees. We then analyze survey data from two ‘real’ friendship networks from a Silicon Valley firm and from a University Research Center. We find, somewhat remarkably, that individuals in these real networks also exhibit these biases.

Keywords: Networks; Cognition; Degree distributions; Biases (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Related works:
Working Paper: Network Cognition (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Network Cognition (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Network Cognition (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Network Cognition (2012) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:123:y:2016:i:c:p:78-96

DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.11.015

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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