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Influential Listeners: An Experiment on Persuasion Bias in Social Networks

Luca Corazzini (), Filippo Pavesi, Beatrice Petrovich and Luca Stanca ()

No 196, Working Papers from University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics

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.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-evo, nep-exp, nep-mic, nep-net and nep-soc
Date: 2010-08, Revised 2010-08
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http://repec.dems.unimib.it/repec/pdf/mibwpaper196.pdf First version, 2010 (application/pdf)

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Journal Article: Influential listeners: An experiment on persuasion bias in social networks (2012) Downloads
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