Public Discourse in the Web Does Not Exhibit Group Polarization

12 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2007 Last revised: 16 May 2008

Date Written: May 14, 2008

Abstract

We performed a massive study of the dynamics of group deliberation among several websites containing millions of opinions on topics ranging from books to media. Contrary to the common phenomenon of group polarization observed offline, we measured a strong tendency towards moderate views in the course of time. This phenomenon possibly operates through a self-selection bias whereby previous comments and ratings elicit contrarian views that soften the previous opinions.

Keywords: opinion formation, information cascades, group polarizationi

JEL Classification: D70, L15, M30

Suggested Citation

Wu, Fang and Huberman, Bernardo A., Public Discourse in the Web Does Not Exhibit Group Polarization (May 14, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1052321 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1052321

Fang Wu

HP Labs ( email )

Palo Alto, CA 94304
United States

Bernardo A. Huberman (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Palo Alto, CA 94305
United States

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