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Activeness as a key to counter democratic balance

Abstract : According to the classic Galam model of opinion dynamics, each agent participates at each update of an opinion interaction. While the scheme gives everyone the same chance to in- fluence others, in reality, social activity and influence vary considerably from one agent to another. To account for such a feature, we introduce a new individual attribute – ‘‘active- ness’’ – which makes some agents more inclined than others at engaging in local discus- sions. To enhance the corresponding effect, opinion updates are shifted from all-out agent interaction cycles to few agent interaction cycles. Using dynamic analysis and simulations the resulting model is found to exhibit a ‘‘Minority Counteroffensive’’ phenomenon, which under some initial conditions makes the minority to win the opinion competition despite a threshold tipping point at fifty percent. The associated probabilistic phenomenon persists in the case ‘‘activeness’’ is held equal for all agents. The effect of ‘‘opinion leaders’’ is also investigated. Indeed, a leader is an inflexible agent, i.e., an agent who does not change opin- ion. The results reveal that two opinion leaders with moderate social influence may have a stronger effect than one opinion leader with a strong social influence. The model may shed a new light to the understanding of opinion formation and public voting.
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Submitted on : Monday, December 14, 2020 - 4:06:45 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 19, 2022 - 3:38:06 AM

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Shen Qian, Yijun Liu, Serge Galam. Activeness as a key to counter democratic balance. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 2015, 432, pp.187 - 196. ⟨10.1016/j.physa.2015.03.029⟩. ⟨hal-03064941⟩

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