The Dynamics of Social Influence and Relational Reputation

Sinan Aral, MIT, Management
Identity and reputation drive some of the most important relational decisions we make online: Who to follow or link to, whose information to trust, whose opinion to rely on when choosing a product or service, whose content to consume and share. Yet, we know very little about the dynamics of social influence and relational reputation and how they affect our decision making. Sinan will describe a series of large scale experiments that explore the population level behavioral dynamics catalyzed by social influence, identity and reputation online. He will explore some of the implications for bias in online ratings, the foundations of social advertising and the ability to generate cascades of behavior through peer to peer influence in networks. Sinan will argue that new research on social influence and relational reputation could help guide our platform design and social policy decisions in light of the rising importance of peer effects and reputation online.
April, 20 2015 | 12:30 - 14:00 | Gross Hall 230E

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