TITLE

Opinion Dynamics with Disagreement and Modulated Information

AUTHOR(S)
Sîrbu, Alina; Loreto, Vittorio; Servedio, Vito; Tria, Francesca
PUB. DATE
April 2013
SOURCE
Journal of Statistical Physics;Apr2013, Vol. 151 Issue 1/2, p218
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Opinion dynamics concerns social processes through which populations or groups of individuals agree or disagree on specific issues. As such, modelling opinion dynamics represents an important research area that has been progressively acquiring relevance in many different domains. Existing approaches have mostly represented opinions through discrete binary or continuous variables by exploring a whole panoply of cases: e.g. independence, noise, external effects, multiple issues. In most of these cases the crucial ingredient is an attractive dynamics through which similar or similar enough agents get closer. Only rarely the possibility of explicit disagreement has been taken into account (i.e., the possibility for a repulsive interaction among individuals' opinions), and mostly for discrete or 1-dimensional opinions, through the introduction of additional model parameters. Here we introduce a new model of opinion formation, which focuses on the interplay between the possibility of explicit disagreement, modulated in a self-consistent way by the existing opinions' overlaps between the interacting individuals, and the effect of external information on the system. Opinions are modelled as a vector of continuous variables related to multiple possible choices for an issue. Information can be modulated to account for promoting multiple possible choices. Numerical results show that extreme information results in segregation and has a limited effect on the population, while milder messages have better success and a cohesion effect. Additionally, the initial condition plays an important role, with the population forming one or multiple clusters based on the initial average similarity between individuals, with a transition point depending on the number of opinion choices.
ACCESSION #
86449493

 

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