The Epistemic Structure and Dynamics of Social Networks

33 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2008

See all articles by Mihnea C. Moldoveanu

Mihnea C. Moldoveanu

University of Toronto - Joseph L. Rotman School of Management

Joel A. C. Baum

University of Toronto - Joseph L. Rotman School of Management

Date Written: April 1, 2008

Abstract

We introduce a formal language for describing epistemic states in networks at the individual (node, or agent) and interactive (multi-node) levels and at multiple epistemic levels (knowledge as well as knowledge about knowledge) and show how it allows us to represent states of belief, confidence and trust in the integrity and competence of other agents in social networks and to ask new, empirically addressable questions about commonly accepted assumptions about network processes. We use the new description language to make progress on making precise intuitions about the epistemic pre-conditions for network phenomena such as the mobilization and coordination of networks and the creation and healing of structural holes through the deliberate undermining of trust and confidence.

Keywords: Social Networks, Epistemic Networks, descriptive language

JEL Classification: G24, L20, G20, D20

Suggested Citation

Moldoveanu, Mihnea C. and Baum, Joel A.C., The Epistemic Structure and Dynamics of Social Networks (April 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1115311 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1115311

Mihnea C. Moldoveanu

University of Toronto - Joseph L. Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada

Joel A.C. Baum (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Joseph L. Rotman School of Management ( email )

University of Toronto
105 St. George Street
Toronto, ON, M5S 3E6
Canada
416-978-4914 (Phone)
416-978-4629 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rotman.utoronto.ca/~baum

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