Influential Listeners: An Experiment on Persuasion Bias In Social Networks

34 Pages Posted: 25 May 2011 Last revised: 21 May 2013

Luca Corazzini

University of Padua - Department of Economics; Bocconi University - Department of Economics

Filippo Pavesi

University of Verona - Department of Economics; Stevens Institute of Technology - School of Business

Beatrice Petrovich

University of Milan, Bicocca - Facoltà di Economia

Luca Stanca

University of Milan, Bicocca - Department of Economics; Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Quantitative Methods and Business Strategies (DEMS)

Date Written: August 1, 2010

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.

Keywords: Rational Choice, Audience, Television, Satisfaction, Arousing content, Laboratory Experiments

JEL Classification: C4, D5, H4, J3, J6, P2, P3, Q2, R2

Suggested Citation

Corazzini, Luca and Pavesi, Filippo and Petrovich, Beatrice and Stanca, Luca, Influential Listeners: An Experiment on Persuasion Bias In Social Networks (August 1, 2010). CISEPS Research Paper No. 1/2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1840565 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1840565

Luca Corazzini (Contact Author)

University of Padua - Department of Economics ( email )

via Del Santo 33
Padova, 35123
Italy

Bocconi University - Department of Economics ( email )

Via Gobbi 5
Milan, 20136
Italy

Filippo Pavesi

University of Verona - Department of Economics ( email )

Via dell'Artigliere, 8
Verona, 37129
Italy

Stevens Institute of Technology - School of Business ( email )

Hoboken, NJ 07030
United States

Beatrice Petrovich

University of Milan, Bicocca - Facoltà di Economia ( email )

Italy

Luca Stanca

University of Milan, Bicocca - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo, Nuovo I
Milan 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milano, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Quantitative Methods and Business Strategies (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

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