CASOS Publication
"Communication Technologies and Their Effect on Cultural Homogeneity, Consensus, and the Diffusion of New Ideas" (PDF file)
Author: Kathleen M. Carley

A view of communication technologies as creating artificial agents and affecting the information-processing capabilities of agents is forwarded. The constructural theory is adapted to account for agents varying in their information-processing capabilities and, hence to account for technology. Given this theoretical modification, the constructural model is used to examine the impact of different communication technologies and sociocultural landscapes on the rate at which information diffuses and the time it takes for the society to reach cultural homogeneity and consensus. The findings suggest that as the available communication technologies change, the role of the sociocultural landscape in effecting social change varies. Paradoxically, this research suggests that mass-communication technologies that enable greater competition among messages and greater message complexity will enable faster information diffusion than will those technologies that inhibit competition and message complexity.