***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****

Hi Dylan,

 

I am not sure this is quite what you are after, but Alex Mesoudi has done quite a bit of work looking at information transmission along chains of participants – both empirical and theoretical. Here is a reference and the abstract for one of his papers.

 

Mesoudi, A., Whiten, A., & Dunbar, R. (2006). A bias for social information in human cultural transmission. British Journal of Psychology, 97, 405-423.

 

Evolutionary theories concerning the origins of human intelligence suggest that cultural

transmission might be biased toward social over non-social information. This was

tested by passing social and non-social information along multiple chains of participants.

Experiment 1 found that gossip, defined as information about intense third-party social

relationships, was transmitted with significantly greater accuracy and in significantly

greater quantity than equivalent non-social information concerning individual behaviour

or the physical environment. Experiment 2 replicated this finding controlling for

narrative coherence, and additionally found that information concerning everyday nongossip

social interactions was transmitted just as well as the intense gossip interactions.

It was therefore concluded that human cultural transmission is biased toward

information concerning social interactions over equivalent non-social information.

 

 

I am not aware of similar work done on social networks rather than simple chains of participants, but would be interested in finding out.

 

Best wishes,


Sam

 

 

***********************************************

Dr Sam Roberts,

Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology,

University of Oxford,

64 Banbury Road,

Oxford,   OX2 6PN

 

Tel: 01865 612376

***********************************************

 

Homepage: http://www.icea.ox.ac.uk/about-us/staff/dr-sam-roberts/

 

TESS Project: http://www.mbs.ac.uk/research/DTESS.aspx

 

 

 

From: Social Networks Discussion Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Dylan Walker
Sent: 30 July 2010 04:49
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [SOCNET] Decay of information quality and flow with social network distance

 

***** To join INSNA, visit http://www.insna.org *****

Hi,

 

I was wondering if anyone could point me to some literature that deals with the decay of information quality (and flow) with increasing social network distance from the source.  I’m aware of some work, but perhaps I’m not looking in the right places:

-regarding flow and homophily (Wu, Adamic, et al. “Information Flow in Social Groups”)

- Sorenson et al., “Complexity, Networks and Knowledge”

 

However, what I have found seems to relate more to transmission and search/availability/propagation of information rather than accumulation of errors.  Interestingly, I find references in a variety of papers to the child’s game of telephone in which information distortion occurs over a chain of serial communications; surely someone has investigated this question empirically on a social network?

 

I am particularly interested in empirical work (rather than purely theoretical models).

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

Dylan Walker

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