A Sociocognitive-Neuroeconomic Model of Social Information Communication: To Speak Directly or To Gossip

AbstractCommunication is a powerful means to disseminate social information, and gossip is an effective way of obtaining updated information about others. However, without a comprehensive theoretical framework of social communication, it is difficult to predict a priori when and why social information will be disseminated. There are general theories of human social interaction, however, they do not sufficiently capture the sociocognitive components underlying human decision-making in social settings. Therefore, we have developed a model of social communication, enabling the characterization of specific conditions under which social information will be spread: for example, when an agent should directly communicate with the target of the information, gossip it to others, or simply do nothing. We describe the model, the methods used to generate model predictions, and then list nine predictions derived from it as the current results. We next plan to test the predictions empirically and develop the model computationally.

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