Communication and the Emergence of a Unidimensional World
36 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2016 Last revised: 17 May 2023
Date Written: May 17, 2023
While individuals hold, exchange, and update opinions over multiple issues, opinions are often correlated and a unidimensional spectrum is enough to summarize them. But when should one expect opinions to be unidimensional? And how important is the underlying structure of communication? Our experimental results: i) validate the crisp predictions by DeMarzo et al. (2003) when individuals update their opinions on a fixed network always trusting the same neighbors, ii) jointly with simulations indicate the prevalence of unidimensionality as an expected outcome even when communication is less structured with individuals' network possibly varying over time, and iii) highlight the importance of the communication structure in predicting whether individuals hold relatively moderate or extreme opinions.
Keywords: opinion dynamics, information aggregation, persuasion bias, social networks
JEL Classification: D83, D85
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation