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Information Cascades and Rioting

While the theory of Information Cascades originated in the fields of economic and information sciences, it is rapidly being applied to help explain a huge number of everyday events. In the area of Political Science, the idea of information cascades has been touted as a means to help explain many massive political upheavals, such as […]

Network Effects & Information Cascades in the Purchase of Location-Based Mobile Apps

One recent research study that draws from principles discussed in our course is the 2011 multi-author paper, “The Roles of Privacy Assurance, Network Effects, and Information Cascades in the Adoption of and Willingness to Pay for Location-Based Services with Mobile Applications.” Given the rise of smartphone technology in the past decade, there has been an […]

Social Media leads to Following the Crowd

Social media websites that we use every day, such as Facebook and Twitter, often quiet our opinions if we think they are different from our friends. Additionally, it was found that those who use social media regularly are more likely to be hesitant to express their opinions in the offline world if these opinions are […]

Version Control System

­­Version control systems (VCS) are widely used by software developers these days for a good reason. By keeping track of all changes to a set of code, and allowing developers to create different “branches” or “trees” of the same base piece of code, a VCS can speed up the whole development process. It can save […]

Human Nature and Cascades

The fact that individuals follow the crowd is well known but there were always questions about the reasons of such behaviour. In chapter 16, we discussed why people follow the crowd from the viewpoint of probability and direct profit, and concluded why it might sometimes have a positive effect and sometimes lead to making wrong […]

Is Milk Actually Good for Adults?

This article from the New York Times discusses the new wave of research about milk and it’s consumption by adults. More specifically, it delves deeper into how there is a current misperception in today’s media that drinking milk as an adult is beneficial when there is really no research to support this claim for the […]

“Facebook for Work” and Information Cascades

Across the nation, employees in offices are tempted to use Facebook at their desks, but are stopped by their superiors. Now there is a way for employees to have all the benefits of Facebook while increasing productivity in the work space. Facebook has created “Facebook for Work”, an extension of the social media giant created […]

Monkeys, Morality, and Information Cascade

Information cascades happen when people base their decisions off of others’ actions, without even knowing why those other people took the action they did. You experience this on a daily basis. For example, if you visit a new town and want to go out to eat, you may just people a place that seems busy. […]

Social Media and False Information Cascades

Many people like to use websites such as Reddit, YouTube, and Facebook to share information that they feel other people should know. While people intend for the information to be true, oftentimes it is false. For example, posts about celebrities dying get shared rapidly on Twitter and Facebook, while the celebrities are still alive and […]

Bayes’ Theorem and its application in animal behavior

In Chapter 16, we learned how previous knowledge and information could affect people’s decision-making process. When people are connected by networks, they can influence other’s behavior and decisions very easily by passing their information and knowledge. We also learned Bayes Rule, so that we can compute conditional probability of choosing a case versus other given […]

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