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: 10.1126/science.1121066

Download: http://www.filosofitis.com.ar/archivos/experimentalmarket.pdf

Tagged: popularity (RSS), music (RSS)


Summary:

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.