Impact of social influence on adoption behavior: An online controlled experimental evaluation

Soumajyoti Sarkar, Ashkan Aleali, Paulo Shakarian, Mika Armenta, Danielle Sanchez, Kiran Lakkaraju

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

It is widely believed that the adoption behavior of a decision-maker in a social network is related to the number of signals it receives from its peers in the social network. It is unclear if these same principles hold when the “pattern” by which they receive these signals vary and when potential decisions have different utilities. To investigate that, we manipulate social signal exposure in an online controlled experiment with human participants. Specifically, we change the number of signals and the pattern through which participants receive them over time. We analyze its effect through a controlled game where each participant makes a decision to select one option when presented with six choices with differing utilities, with one choice having the most utility. We avoided network effects by holding the neighborhood network of the users constant. Over multiple rounds of the game, we observe the following: (1) even in the presence of monetary risks and previously acquired knowledge of the six choices, decision-makers tend to deviate from the obvious optimal decision when their peers make similar choices, (2) when the quantity of social signals vary over time, the probability that a participant selects the decision similar to the one reflected by the social signals and therefore being responsive to social influence does not necessarily correlate proportionally to the absolute quantity of signals and (3) an early subjugation to higher quantity of peer social signals turned out to be a more effective strategy of social influence when aggregated over the rounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019
EditorsFrancesca Spezzano, Wei Chen, Xiaokui Xiao
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages226-233
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781450368681
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 27 2019
Event11th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019 - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: Aug 27 2019Aug 30 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2019 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019

Conference

Conference11th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019
CountryCanada
CityVancouver
Period8/27/198/30/19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Sociology and Political Science

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  • Cite this

    Sarkar, S., Aleali, A., Shakarian, P., Armenta, M., Sanchez, D., & Lakkaraju, K. (2019). Impact of social influence on adoption behavior: An online controlled experimental evaluation. In F. Spezzano, W. Chen, & X. Xiao (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2019 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019 (pp. 226-233). (Proceedings of the 2019 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Advances in Social Networks Analysis and Mining, ASONAM 2019). Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/3341161.3342882