How Can Extremism Prevail? a Study Based on the Relative Agreement Interaction Model
Abstract: We model opinion dynamics in populations of agents with continuous opinion and uncertainty. The opinions and uncertainties are modified by random pair interactions. We propose a new model of interactions, called relative agreement model, which is a variant of the previously discussed bounded confidence. In this model, uncertainty as well as opinion can be modified by interactions. We introduce extremist agents by attributing a much lower uncertainty (and thus higher persuasion) to a small proportion of agents at the extremes of the opinion distribution. We study the evolution of the opinion distribution submitted to the relative agreement model. Depending upon the choice of parameters, the extremists can have a very local influence or attract the whole population. We propose a qualitative analysis of the convergence process based on a local field notion. The genericity of the observed results is tested on several variants of the bounded confidence model.
Volume (Year): 5 (2002)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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