Quantifying herding effects in crowd wisdom

Ting Wang, Dashun Wang, Fei Wang

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

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

In many diverse settings, aggregated opinions of others play an increasingly dominant role in shaping individual decision making. One key prerequisite of harnessing the "crowd wisdom" is the independency of individuals' opinions, yet in real settings collective opinions are rarely simple aggregations of independent minds. Recent experimental studies document that disclosing prior collective opinions distorts individuals' decision making as well as their perceptions of quality and value, highlighting a fundamental disconnect from current modeling efforts: How to model social influence and its impact on systems that are constantly evolving? In this paper, we develop a mechanistic framework to model social influence of prior collective opinions (e.g., online product ratings) on subsequent individual decision making. We find our method successfully captures the dynamics of rating growth, helping us separate social influence bias from inherent values. Using large-scale longitudinal customer rating datasets, we demonstrate that our model not only effectively assesses social influence bias, but also accurately predicts long-term cumulative growth of ratings solely based on early rating trajectories. We believe our framework will play an increasingly important role as our understanding of social processes deepens. It promotes strategies to untangle manipulations and social biases and provides insights towards a more reliable and effective design of social platforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationKDD 2014 - Proceedings of the 20th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages1087-1096
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450329569
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event20th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, KDD 2014 - New York, NY, United States
Duration: Aug 24 2014Aug 27 2014

Other

Other20th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, KDD 2014
CountryUnited States
CityNew York, NY
Period8/24/148/27/14

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Keywords

  • crowd wisdom
  • herding effect
  • social influence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems

Cite this

Wang, T., Wang, D., & Wang, F. (2014). Quantifying herding effects in crowd wisdom. In KDD 2014 - Proceedings of the 20th ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining (pp. 1087-1096). Association for Computing Machinery. https://doi.org/10.1145/2623330.2623720