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Truth and Conformity on Networks

Aydin, Mohseni and Cole, Williams (2019) Truth and Conformity on Networks. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Typically, public discussions of questions of social import exhibit two im- portant properties: (1) they are influenced by conformity bias, and (2) the influence of conformity is expressed via social networks. We examine how social learning on net- works proceeds under the influence of conformity bias. In our model, heterogeneous agents express public opinions where those expressions are driven by the competing priorities of accuracy and of conformity to one’s peers. Agents learn, by Bayesian con- ditionalization, from private evidence from nature, and from the public declarations of other agents. Our key findings are that networks that produce configurations of social relationships that sustain a diversity of opinions empower honest communication and reliable acquisition of true beliefs, and that the networks that do this best turn out to be those which are both less centralized and less connected.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Aydin, Mohseniamohseni@uci.edu0000-0002-4054-0058
Cole, Williamscolerw@uci.edu
Keywords: game theory, network theory, social epistemology, Bayesian learning
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Game Theory
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
Depositing User: Aydin Mohseni
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2019 03:04
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2019 03:04
Item ID: 16350
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Game Theory
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
Date: 2019
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16350

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