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Analytical Sociology; Social Mechanisms; ABMs; Opinion Dynamics
A model for simulating the evolution of individual’s preferences, incliding adaptive agents “falsifying” -as public opinions- their own preferences. It was builded to describe, explore, experiment and understand how simple heuristics can modulate global opinion dynamics. So far two mechanisms are implemented: a version of Festiguer’s reduction of cognitive disonance, and a version of Goffman’s impression management. In certain social contexts -minority, social rank presure- some models agents can “fake” its public opinion while keeping internally the oposite preference, but after a number of rounds following this falsifying behaviour pattern, a coherence principle can change the real or internal preferences close to that expressed in public.
The model formalizes a situation where agents embedded in different types of networks (random, small world and scale free networks) interact with their neighbors and express an opinion that is the result of different mechanisms: a coherence mechanism, in which agents try to stick to their previously expressed opinions; an assessment mechanism, in which agents consider available external information on the topic; and a social influence mechanism, in which agents tend to approach their neighbor’s opinions.