Volume 106, Number 4, May 2014
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Published online||22 May 2014|
The influence of persuasion in opinion formation and polarization
1 Instituto de Investigaciones Físicas de Mar del Plata, UNMDP-CONICET - 7600, Mar del Plata, Argentina
2 Center for Polymer Studies, Physics Department, Boston University - Boston, MA 02215, USA
3 Instituto de Física de Líquidos y Sistemas Biológicos, UNLP-CONICET - 1900, La Plata, Argentina
Received: 12 March 2014
Accepted: 29 April 2014
We present a model that explores the influence of persuasion in a population of agents with positive and negative opinion orientations. The opinion of each agent is represented by an integer number k that expresses its level of agreement on a given issue, from totally against to totally in favor k = M. Same-orientation agents persuade each other with probability p, becoming more extreme, while opposite-orientation agents become more moderate as they reach a compromise with probability q. The population initially evolves to (a) a polarized state for , where opinions' distribution is peaked at the extreme values , or (b) a centralized state for r < 1, with most opinions around . When , polarization lasts for a time that diverges as , where N is the population's size. Finally, an extremist consensus (k = M or ) is reached in a time that scales as for .
PACS: 02.50.-r – Probability theory, stochastic processes, and statistics / 87.23.Ge – Dynamics of social systems / 05.10.-a – Computational methods in statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics
© EPLA, 2014
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