Minority persistence in agent based model using information and emotional arousal as control variables

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Abstract

We present detailed analysis of the behavior of an agent based model of opinion formation, using a discrete variant of cusp catastrophe behavior of single agents. The agent opinion about a particular issue is determined by its information about the issue and its emotional arousal. It is possible that for agitated agents the same information would lead to different opinions. This results in a nontrivial individual opinion dynamics. The agents communicate via messages, which allows direct application of the model to ICT based communities. We study the dependence of the composition of an agent society on the range of interactions and the rate of emotional arousal. Despite the minimal number of adjustable parameters, the model reproduces several phenomena observed in real societies, for example nearly perfectly balanced results of some highly contested elections or the fact that minorities seldom perceive themselves to be a minority.