Social and strategic imitation: the way to consensus Articles uri icon

publication date

  • September 2012

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 7

volume

  • 2: 686

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2045-2322

abstract

  • Humans do not always make rational choices, a fact that experimental economics is putting on solid grounds. The social context plays an important role in determining our actions, and often we imitate friends or acquaintances without any strategic consideration. We explore here the interplay between strategic and social imitative behavior in a coordination problem on a social network. We observe that for interactions on 1D and 2D lattices any amount of social imitation prevents the freezing of the network in domains with different conventions, thus leading to global consensus. For interactions on complex networks, the interplay of social and strategic imitation also drives the system towards global consensus while neither dynamics alone does. We find an optimum value for the combination of imitative behaviors to reach consensus in a minimum time, and two different dynamical regimes to approach it: exponential when social imitation predominates, power-law when strategic considerations prevail.