Information Resonance



People process the same information differently depending on who delivers it. Information resonates with recipients when they identify with the person who communicates it or whose personal experience it reflects. Resonant information imprints itself in our memory and comes to mind when making relevant decisions. We describe and formalize the phenomenon of resonant information being more heavily weighted in the process of belief updating. The model delivers an empirical tool to identify which social characteristics determine resonance. We then work through the model implications for social transitions in response to COVID-type shocks, for the influence of role models on behavior change such as vaccine adoption, and why social media changes the influence of experts. Evidence on occupational choices within geography-ethnicity-gender groups, and their responses to labor market outcomes inside and outside their respective groups, suggest that resonance may be a powerful force.

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Meeting ID: 961 4727 0141