Experimental Study of Inequality and Unpredictability in an Artificial Cultural Market

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Citation: Matthew J. Salganik, Peter Sheridan Dodds, Duncan J. Watts (2006/02/10) Experimental Study of Inequality and Unpredictability in an Artificial Cultural Market. Science (RSS)
DOI (original publisher): 10.1126/science.1121066
Semantic Scholar (metadata): 10.1126/science.1121066
Sci-Hub (fulltext): 10.1126/science.1121066
Internet Archive Scholar (fulltext): Experimental Study of Inequality and Unpredictability in an Artificial Cultural Market
Download: http://www.filosofitis.com.ar/archivos/experimentalmarket.pdf
Tagged: popularity (RSS), music (RSS)

Summary (Abstract)

14,341 subjects were presented with unknown songs and the ability to rate on a 5 star scale and to download. Some subjects were not presented with popularity info in the form of download counts, others were, divided into 8 different universes, each with separate download count. Download count availability increased inequality of popularity and unpredictability of popularity (across 8 different universes). 2 experiments were run, one in which popularity information presented more strongly (songs listed in single column in descending download count rank) resulted in much greater inequality.

Theoretical and Practical Relevance

Authors note that social influence in the real world is much stronger than in the experiment, eg via marketing.