Swayed by Friends or by the Crowd?

14 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2011 Last revised: 15 Nov 2012

See all articles by Zeinab Abbassi

Zeinab Abbassi

Columbia University - Department of Computer Science

Christina Aperjis

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise - Social Computing Lab

Bernardo A. Huberman

Stanford University

Date Written: September 22, 2011

Abstract

We have conducted three empirical studies of the effects of friend recommendations and general ratings on how online users make choices. We model and quantify how a user deciding between two choices trades off an additional rating star with an additional friend’s recommendation when selecting an item. We find that negative opinions from friends are more influential than positive opinions, and people exhibit “more random” behavior in their choices when the decision involves less cost and risk. Our results are quite general in the sense that people across different demographics trade off recommendations from friends and ratings from the general public in a similar fashion..

Keywords: social influence, recommender systems, social media

Suggested Citation

Abbassi, Zeinab and Aperjis, Christina and Huberman, Bernardo A., Swayed by Friends or by the Crowd? (September 22, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1932244 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1932244

Zeinab Abbassi

Columbia University - Department of Computer Science ( email )

New York, NY 10027
United States

Christina Aperjis

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise - Social Computing Lab ( email )

1501 Page Mill Road
Palo Alto, CA 9434
United States

Bernardo A. Huberman (Contact Author)

Stanford University ( email )

Palo Alto, CA 94305
United States

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