Modelling the influence of social learning on responsible consumption through directed graphs


This study examines the impact of social learning on consumption and production decisions in a societal context. Individuals learn the actual value of nature through information and subsequent network communication, which is illustrated using the Directed Graph theory and DeGroot social learning process. In this context, individuals with greater access to private information are called neighbours. Results suggest that in a perfectly rational scenario, individuals have high confidence in their abilities and base their decisions on a combination of personal experience, perception, and intellect; thus, society is expected to converge towards making responsible consumption choices $R_c^*$. However, when individuals are bounded or irrational, they exhibit persuasion bias or stubbornness, and diversity, independence, and decentralization are lacking. It leads to a situation where the consumption network lacks wisdom and may never result in responsible consumption choices. Thus finite, uniformly conspicuous neighbours will swiftly converge towards the opinion of the group. When a large proportion of individuals consume excessively (extravagance) or below the optimal level (misery), the consumption network is dominated by unwise decision-makers, leading to a society that prevents promoting sustainability. In conclusion, this study emphasizes the need for a more rational and informed decision-making process in promoting a sustainable future.

Electronic Research Archive, 31(9), 5161–5206. doi:10.3934/era.2023264