Volume 82, Number 2, April 2008
Article Number 28008
Number of page(s) 6
Section Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology
Published online 27 March 2008
EPL, 82 (2008) 28008
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/82/28008

Opinion formation in laggard societies

P. Klimek1, R. Lambiotte2, 3 and S. Thurner1, 4

1  Complex Systems Research Group, HNO, Medical University of Vienna - Währinger Gürtel 18-20, A-1090 Austria, EU
2  GRAPES, Université de Liège - Sart-Tilman, B-4000 Liège, Belgium, EU
3  INMA, Université catholique de Louvain - 4 avenue Georges Lemaitre, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, EU
4  Santa Fe Institute - 1399 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA

received 14 September 2007; accepted in final form 26 February 2008; published April 2008
published online 27 March 2008

We introduce a statistical-physics model for opinion dynamics on random networks where agents adopt the opinion held by the majority of their direct neighbors only if the fraction of these neighbors exceeds a certain threshold, pu. We find a transition from total final consensus to a mixed phase where opinions coexist amongst the agents. The relevant parameters are the relative sizes in the initial opinion distribution within the population and the connectivity of the underlying network. As the order parameter we define the asymptotic state of opinions. In the phase diagram we find regions of total consensus and a mixed phase. As the "laggard parameter" pu increases the regions of consensus shrink. In addition we introduce rewiring of the underlying network during the opinion formation process and discuss the resulting consequences in the phase diagram.

89.75.Fb - Structures and organization in complex systems.
87.23.Ge - Dynamics of social systems.
05.90.+m - Other topics in statistical physics, thermodynamics, and nonlinear dynamical systems.

© EPLA 2008