Tangled Worldview Model of Opinion Dynamics
- We study the joint evolution of worldviews by proposing a model of opinion dynamics, which is inspired in notions from evolutionary ecology. Agents update their opinion on a specific issue based on their propensity to change — asserted by the social neighbours — weighted by their mutual similarity on other issues. Agents are, therefore, more influenced by neighbours with similar worldviews (set of opinions on various issues), resulting in a complex co-evolution of each opinion. Simulations show that the worldview evolution exhibits events of intermittent polarization when the social network is scale-free. This, in turn, trigger extreme crashes and surges in the popularity of various opinions. Using the proposed model, we highlight the role of network structure, bounded rationality of agents, and the role of key influential agents in causing polarization and intermittent reformation of worldviews on scale-free networks.
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