Abstract

Social identities are among the key factors driving behavior in complex societies. Signals of social identity are known to influence individual behaviors in the adoption of innovations. Yet the population-level consequences of identity signaling on the diffusion of innovations are largely unknown. Here we use both analytical and agent-based modeling to consider the spread of a beneficial innovation in a structured population in which there exist two groups who are averse to being mistaken for each other. We investigate the dynamics of adoption and consider the role of structural factors such as demographic skew and communication scale on population-level outcomes. We find that outgroup aversion can lead to adoption being delayed or suppressed in one group, and that population-wide underadoption is common. Comparing the two models, we find that differential adoption can arise due to structural constraints on information flow even in the absence of intrinsic between-group differences in adoption rates. Further, we find that patterns of polarization in adoption at both local and global scales depend on the details of demographic organization and the scale of communication. This research has particular relevance to widely beneficial but identity-relevant products and behaviors, such as green technologies, where overall levels of adoption determine the positive benefits that accrue to society at large.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalEducational Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Dec 10 2016

Fingerprint

innovation diffusion
outgroup
demographic situation
innovation
Agent-based Modeling
Structured Populations
Information Flow
Skew
Polarization
Group
communication
traffic behavior
information flow
polarization
Unknown
Innovation
organization
society
Communication

Keywords

  • Agent-based model
  • identity signaling
  • innovation diffusion
  • networks
  • polarization
  • social identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Algebra and Number Theory
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Adoption as a social marker : Innovation diffusion with outgroup aversion. / Smaldino, Paul E.; Janssen, Marcus; Hillis, Vicken; Bednar, Jenna.

In: Educational Research, 10.12.2016, p. 1-20.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Smaldino, Paul E. ; Janssen, Marcus ; Hillis, Vicken ; Bednar, Jenna. / Adoption as a social marker : Innovation diffusion with outgroup aversion. In: Educational Research. 2016 ; pp. 1-20.
@article{b71863a024834a04a9cb39aca31ea05c,
title = "Adoption as a social marker: Innovation diffusion with outgroup aversion",
abstract = "Social identities are among the key factors driving behavior in complex societies. Signals of social identity are known to influence individual behaviors in the adoption of innovations. Yet the population-level consequences of identity signaling on the diffusion of innovations are largely unknown. Here we use both analytical and agent-based modeling to consider the spread of a beneficial innovation in a structured population in which there exist two groups who are averse to being mistaken for each other. We investigate the dynamics of adoption and consider the role of structural factors such as demographic skew and communication scale on population-level outcomes. We find that outgroup aversion can lead to adoption being delayed or suppressed in one group, and that population-wide underadoption is common. Comparing the two models, we find that differential adoption can arise due to structural constraints on information flow even in the absence of intrinsic between-group differences in adoption rates. Further, we find that patterns of polarization in adoption at both local and global scales depend on the details of demographic organization and the scale of communication. This research has particular relevance to widely beneficial but identity-relevant products and behaviors, such as green technologies, where overall levels of adoption determine the positive benefits that accrue to society at large.",
keywords = "Agent-based model, identity signaling, innovation diffusion, networks, polarization, social identity",
author = "Smaldino, {Paul E.} and Marcus Janssen and Vicken Hillis and Jenna Bednar",
year = "2016",
month = "12",
day = "10",
doi = "10.1080/0022250X.2016.1250083",
language = "English (US)",
pages = "1--20",
journal = "Journal of Mathematical Sociology",
issn = "0013-1881",
publisher = "Routledge",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Adoption as a social marker

T2 - Innovation diffusion with outgroup aversion

AU - Smaldino, Paul E.

AU - Janssen, Marcus

AU - Hillis, Vicken

AU - Bednar, Jenna

PY - 2016/12/10

Y1 - 2016/12/10

N2 - Social identities are among the key factors driving behavior in complex societies. Signals of social identity are known to influence individual behaviors in the adoption of innovations. Yet the population-level consequences of identity signaling on the diffusion of innovations are largely unknown. Here we use both analytical and agent-based modeling to consider the spread of a beneficial innovation in a structured population in which there exist two groups who are averse to being mistaken for each other. We investigate the dynamics of adoption and consider the role of structural factors such as demographic skew and communication scale on population-level outcomes. We find that outgroup aversion can lead to adoption being delayed or suppressed in one group, and that population-wide underadoption is common. Comparing the two models, we find that differential adoption can arise due to structural constraints on information flow even in the absence of intrinsic between-group differences in adoption rates. Further, we find that patterns of polarization in adoption at both local and global scales depend on the details of demographic organization and the scale of communication. This research has particular relevance to widely beneficial but identity-relevant products and behaviors, such as green technologies, where overall levels of adoption determine the positive benefits that accrue to society at large.

AB - Social identities are among the key factors driving behavior in complex societies. Signals of social identity are known to influence individual behaviors in the adoption of innovations. Yet the population-level consequences of identity signaling on the diffusion of innovations are largely unknown. Here we use both analytical and agent-based modeling to consider the spread of a beneficial innovation in a structured population in which there exist two groups who are averse to being mistaken for each other. We investigate the dynamics of adoption and consider the role of structural factors such as demographic skew and communication scale on population-level outcomes. We find that outgroup aversion can lead to adoption being delayed or suppressed in one group, and that population-wide underadoption is common. Comparing the two models, we find that differential adoption can arise due to structural constraints on information flow even in the absence of intrinsic between-group differences in adoption rates. Further, we find that patterns of polarization in adoption at both local and global scales depend on the details of demographic organization and the scale of communication. This research has particular relevance to widely beneficial but identity-relevant products and behaviors, such as green technologies, where overall levels of adoption determine the positive benefits that accrue to society at large.

KW - Agent-based model

KW - identity signaling

KW - innovation diffusion

KW - networks

KW - polarization

KW - social identity

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85004125612&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85004125612&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/0022250X.2016.1250083

DO - 10.1080/0022250X.2016.1250083

M3 - Article

SP - 1

EP - 20

JO - Journal of Mathematical Sociology

JF - Journal of Mathematical Sociology

SN - 0013-1881

ER -