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Memory Transmission in Small Groups and Large Networks: An Agent-Based Model

Memory Transmission in Small Groups and Large Networks: An Agent-Based Model

Psychological Science 26(12): 1909-1917

The spread of social influence in large social networks has long been an interest of social scientists. In the domain of memory, collaborative memory experiments have illuminated cognitive mechanisms that allow information to be transmitted between interacting individuals, but these experiments have focused on small-scale social contexts. In the current study, we took a computational approach, circumventing the practical constraints of laboratory paradigms and providing novel results at scales unreachable by laboratory methodologies. Our model embodied theoretical knowledge derived from small-group experiments and replicated foundational results regarding collaborative inhibition and memory convergence in small groups. Ultimately, we investigated large-scale, realistic social networks and found that agents are influenced by the agents with which they interact, but we also found that agents are influenced by nonneighbors (i.e., the neighbors of their neighbors). The similarity between these results and the reports of behavioral transmission in large networks offers a major theoretical insight by linking behavioral transmission to the spread of information.

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Accession: 058291937

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26553014

DOI: 10.1177/0956797615605798

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