A Cognitive Model of Social Influence


We describe two different cognitive process models of a well known experiment on social influence (Salganik, Dodds, & Watts, 2006). One model, the social influence model, reproduced the choices that participants took by modeling both the cognitive processes the participant engaged in and the social influences that the participant saw. The second model, the pure cognitive model, used only cognitive capabilities and did not model any social influences that the participant saw. Somewhat surprisingly, the two models showed no difference in quality of fit (the pure cognitive model actually fit slightly better than the social influence model), suggesting that social influence models should take cognitive functions into account in their theories.

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