An influence network model to study discrepancies in expressed and private opinions

Mengbin Ye, Yuzhen Qin, Alain Govaert, Brian D. O. Anderson, Ming Cao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

In many social situations, a discrepancy arises between an individual’s private and expressed opinions on a given topic. Motivated by Solomon Asch’s seminal experiments on social conformity and other related socio-psychological works, we propose a novel opinion dynamics model to study how such a discrepancy can arise in general social networks of interpersonal influence. Each individual in the network has both a private and an expressed opinion: an individual’s private opinion evolves under social influence from the expressed opinions of the individual’s neighbours, while the individual determines his or her expressed opinion under a pressure to conform to the average expressed opinion of his
or her neighbours, termed the local public opinion. General conditions on the network that guarantee exponentially fast convergence of the opinions to a limit are obtained. Further analysis of the limit yields several semi-quantitative conclusions, which have insightful social interpretations, including the establishing of conditions that ensure every individual in the network has such a discrepancy. Last, we show the generality and validity of the model by using it to explain and predict the results of Solomon Asch’s seminal experiments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-381
Number of pages11
JournalAutomatica
Volume107
Issue number9
Early online date14-Jun-2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2019

Keywords

  • PLURALISTIC IGNORANCE
  • SOCIAL-INFLUENCE
  • DYNAMICS
  • CONSENSUS
  • EVOLUTION
  • TUTORIAL
  • POWER

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