The Benefit of Imitating Particular Individuals

6 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2012

See all articles by Yasuaki Sakamoto

Yasuaki Sakamoto

AXA Direct Japan

Hongyuan Shi

Stevens Institute of Technology - School of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 22, 2012

Abstract

We examined the benefits of different search strategies by testing four computational models. In one model, agents in a group always innovated. The other three models incorporated some mechanisms of imitation. In the second model, each agent imitated the best solution of a random other. In the third model, each agent followed preferential attachment and imitated the best solution of the agent that was asked by many agents. In the fourth model, each agent developed a familiarity with an agent based on how often it asked a certain agent, and imitated this agent. In two simulation studies, following the most popular or the most familiar agent resulted in a good compromise between efficiency and diversity in finding good solutions. People’s desire to follow particular individuals may be a key to their adaptive behavior, allowing them to disseminate ideas efficiently while encouraging the exploration of new ideas.

Keywords: Innovation and imitation, social learning, influence, trust, search

Suggested Citation

Sakamoto, Yasuaki and Shi, Hongyuan, The Benefit of Imitating Particular Individuals (September 22, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2150643 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2150643

Yasuaki Sakamoto (Contact Author)

AXA Direct Japan ( email )

Japan

Hongyuan Shi

Stevens Institute of Technology - School of Business ( email )

Hoboken, NJ 07030
United States

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