Benefits of Diversity, Communication Costs, and Public Opinion Dynamics

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    Abstract

    We study the dynamics of public opinion in a model in which agents change their opinions as a result of random binary encounters if the opinion difference is below their individual thresholds that evolve over time. We ground these thresholds in a simple individual cost-benefit analysis with linear benefits of diversity and quadratic communication costs. We clarify and deepen the results of earlier continuous-opinion dynamics models (Deffuant et al., Adv Complex Systems 2000 [1]; Weisbuch et al., Complexity 2002 [2]) and establish several new results regarding the patterns of opinions in the asymptotic state and the cluster formation time.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)54-63
    Number of pages10
    JournalComplexity
    Volume15
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

    Keywords

    • communication costs.
    • Opinion dynamics
    • agent-based models
    • diversity

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