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Opinion dynamics and wisdom under conformity

Berno Buechel, Tim Hellmann and Stefan Klößner
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Berno Buechel: Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University
Stefan Klößner: Center for Mathematical Economics, Bielefeld University

No 469, Center for Mathematical Economics Working Papers from 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.

Keywords: conformity; eigenvector centrality; social networks; consensus; wisdom of crowds; opinion leadership (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cta, nep-mic and nep-net
Date: 2014-04-29
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https://pub.uni-bielefeld.de/download/2674005/2674007 First Version, 2013 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Opinion dynamics and wisdom under conformity (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Opinion Dynamics and Wisdom under Conformity (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Opinion Dynamics and Wisdom under Conformity (2013) Downloads
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