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.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Acemoglu, D., Como, G.: Opinion fluctuations and disagreement in social networks. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Economics Working Paper Series (2010)
Axelrod, R.: The dissemination of culture: a model with local convergence and global polarization. J. Confl. Resolut. 41(2), 203–226 (1997)
Carletti, T., Fanelli, D., Grolli, S., Guarino, A.: How to make an efficient propaganda. Europhys. Lett. 74(2), 222–228 (2006)
Carro, A., Toral, R., San Miguel, M.: The role of noise and initial conditions in the asymptotic solution of a bounded confidence, continuous-opinion model. arXiv:1208.2618 (2012)
Castellano, C., Fortunato, S., Loreto, V.: Statistical physics of social dynamics. Rev. Mod. Phys. 81(2), 591 (2009)
Crokidakis, N.: Effects of mass media on opinion spreading in the Sznajd sociophysics model. Physica A 391, 1729–1734 (2011)
Deffuant, G., Neau, D., Amblard, F., Weisbuch, G.: Mixing beliefs among interacting agents. Adv. Complex Syst. 3(4), 87–98 (2000)
Deffuant, G., Carletti, T., Huet, S.: The Leviathan model: Absolute dominance. generalised distrust and other patterns emerging from combining vanity with opinion propagation, 12 pp. arXiv:1203.3065v1 (2012)
Degusta, M.: Are smart phones spreading faster than any technology in human history? MIT Technology Review (2012)
Duhigg, C.: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Random House, New York (2012)
EveryAware Consortium: EveryAware: enhance environmental awareness through social information technologies. http://www.everyaware.eu
Fortunato, S., Latora, V., Pluchino, A., Rapisarda, A.: Vector opinion dynamics in a bounded confidence consensus model. Int. J. Mod. Phys. C 16(10), 1535–1551 (2005). doi:10.1142/S0129183105008126
Galam, S.: Sociophysics: a review of Galam models. Int. J. Mod. Phys. C 19, 403–440 (2008)
Galam, S.: Public debates driven by incomplete scientific data: the cases of evolution theory, global warming and H1N1 pandemic influenza. Physica A 389(17), 3619–3631 (2010)
Galam, S.: Market efficiency. anticipation and the formation of bubbles-crashes, 12 pp. arXiv:1106.1577 (2011)
Gargiulo, F., Lottini, S., Mazzoni, A.: The saturation threshold of public opinion: are aggressive media campaigns always effective? In: ESSA, pp. 1–4 (2008)
González-Avella, J.C., Cosenza, M.G., Eguíluz, V.M., San Miguel, M.: Spontaneous ordering against an external field in non-equilibrium systems. New J. Phys. 12(1), 013010 (2010)
Hegselmann, R., Krause, U.: Opinion dynamics and bounded confidence: models, analysis and simulation. J. Artif. Soc. Soc. Simul. 5(3), 1–33 (2002)
Hegselmann, R., Krause, U.: Truth and cognitive division of labour: first steps towards a computer aided social epistemology. J. Artif. Soc. Soc. Simul. 9(3), 1–28 (2006)
Hong, H., Strogatz, S.: Conformists and contrarians in a Kuramoto model with identical natural frequencies. Phys. Rev. E 84(4), 1–6 (2011)
Huckfeldt, R., Johnson, P., Sprague, J.: Political Disagreement: The Survival of Diverse Opinions Within Communication Networks. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2004)
Kondrat, G., Sznajd-Weron, K.: Spontaneous reorientations in a model of opinion dynamics with anticonformists. Int. J. Mod. Phys. C 21, 559–566 (2010)
Kurmyshev, E., Juárez, H., González-Silva, R.: Dynamics of bounded confidence opinion in heterogeneous social networks: concord against partial antagonism. Physica A 390(16), 2945–2955 (2011)
Kurz, S., Rambau, J.: On the Hegselmann-Krause conjecture in opinion dynamics. J. Differ. Equ. Appl. 13(6), 859–876 (2011)
Laguna, M.F., Abramson, G., Zanette, D.H.: Vector opinion dynamics in a model for social influence. Physica A 329, 459–472 (2003)
Lewenstein, M., Nowak, A., Latané, B.: Statistical mechanics of social impact. Phys. Rev. A 45(2), 763–776 (1992)
Lima, F.W.S.: Controlling the tax evasion dynamics via majority-vote model on various topologies. Theor. Econ. Lett. 2, 87–93 (2012)
Lorenz, J.: Continuous opinion dynamics of multidimensional allocation problems under bounded confidence: More dimensions lead to better chances for consensus. Eur. J. Econ. Soc. Syst. 19, 213–227 (2006)
Lorenz, J.: Fostering consensus in multidimensional continuous opinion dynamics under bounded confidence. In: Helbing, D. (ed.) Managing Complexity: Insights, Concepts, Applications, Understanding Complex Systems, vol. 32, pp. 321–334. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg (2008)
Manning, C., Schütze, H.: Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing, vol. 999. MIT Press, Cambridge (1999)
Martins, A.: Continuous opinions and discrete actions in opinion dynamics problems. Int. J. Mod. Phys. C 19, 617–624 (2008)
Nowak, A., Kuã, M.: Simulating the coordination of individual economic decisions. Physica A 287, 613–630 (2000)
Nowak, A., Lewenstein, M.: Modeling social change with cellular automata. In: Modelling and Simulation in the Social Sciences from a Philosophy of Science Point of View, pp. 249–285. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht (1996)
Nyczka, P., Sznajd-Weron, K., Cislo, J.: Phase transitions in the q-voter model with two types of stochastic driving. Phys. Rev. E 86(1), 011105 (2012)
Peres, L., Fontanari, J.: The mass media destabilizes the cultural homogenous regime in Axelrod’s model. Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical 43, 055003 (2010)
Peres, L., Fontanari, J.: The media effect in Axelrod’s model explained. Europhys. Lett. 96, 38004 (2011)
Radillo-Díaz, A., Pérez, L.A., del Castillo-Mussot, M.: Axelrod models of social influence with cultural repulsion. Phys. Rev. E 80(6), 1–6 (2009)
Sznajd-Weron, K., Sznajd, J.: Opinion evolution in closed community. Int. J. Mod. Phys. C 11, 1157–1165 (2000)
Sznajd-Weron, K., Tabiszewski, M., Timpanaro, A.: Phase transition in the Sznajd model with independence. Europhys. Lett. 96(4), 1–6 (2011)
Vallacher, R.R., Nowak, A.: Dynamical social psychology: on complexity and coordination in human experience. In: Uhl-Bien, M., Marion, R. (eds.) Complexity Leadership, vol. 1, Chap. 3, pp. 49–80. Information Age, Charlotte (2008)
Vaz Martins, T., Pineda, M., Toral, R.: Mass media and repulsive interactions in continuous-opinion dynamics. Europhys. Lett. 91(4), 48003 (2010)
Weisbuch, G., Deffuant, G., Amblard, F., Nadal, J.P.: Meet, discuss, and segregate! Complexity 7(3), 55–63 (2002)
This research has been supported by the EveryAware project funded by the Future and Emerging Technologies program (IST-FET) of the European Commission under the EU RD contract IST-265432 and the EuroUnderstanding Collaborative Research Projects DRUST funded by the European Science Foundation.
About this article
Cite this article
Sîrbu, A., Loreto, V., Servedio, V.D.P. et al. Opinion Dynamics with Disagreement and Modulated Information. J Stat Phys 151, 218–237 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10955-013-0724-x
- Opinion dynamics
- External information
- Numerical simulations