Dissonance Minimization and Conversation in Social Networks

48 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2021

See all articles by Mikhail Anufriev

Mikhail Anufriev

University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

Kirill Borissov

European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP)

Mikhail Pakhnin

European University at St. Petersburg, Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

We study a model of social learning in networks where the dynamics of beliefs are driven by conversations of dissonance-minimizing agents. Given their current beliefs, agents make statements, tune them to the statements of their associates, and then revise their beliefs. We characterize the long-run beliefs in a society, provide the necessary and sufficient conditions for a society to reach a consensus, and show that agents’ social influences (weights on the consensus belief) are decreasing in their dissonance sensitivities. Comparing the outcomes of two models, with and without conversation, we show that conversation leads to a redistribution of social influences in favor of agents with higher self-confidence. Finally, we provide analytical insights for the model where agents minimize dissonance by revising both beliefs and network, and show that an endogenous change of network may prevent a society from reaching a consensus.

Keywords: social networks, DeGroot learning, social influence, dissonance minimization, conversation

JEL Classification: D830, D850, D910, Z130

Suggested Citation

Anufriev, Mikhail and Borissov, Kirill and Pakhnin, Mikhail, Dissonance Minimization and Conversation in Social Networks (2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3971990 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3971990

Mikhail Anufriev (Contact Author)

University of Technology Sydney (UTS) ( email )

P. O. Box 123
Broadway, NSW 2007
Australia

Kirill Borissov

European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP) ( email )

3 Gagarinskaya Street
St. Petersburg, 191187
Russia

Mikhail Pakhnin

European University at St. Petersburg, Department of Economics ( email )

6/1A Gagarinskaya Street
St. Petersburg, 191187
Russia

HOME PAGE: http://eusp.org/en/people/pakhnin

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