Type
Article
Title
Stubbornness as an unfortunate key to win a public debate : an illustration from sociophysics
In
Mind and Society:Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences
Pages
1 - 14 p.
ISSN
15937879
DOI
10.1007/s11299-015-0175-y
Keywords
sociophysics, opinion dynamics, stubborness
Abstract
EN
Most models of opinion dynamics are threshold-like. For two competing opinions the dynamics is one-dimensional and the associated opinion flow is shaped by at least two attractors separated by a tipping threshold, not necessarily located at 50 %. Initial supports are thus instrumental to determine the final debate outcome. In contrast, the absence of a tipping threshold implies a unique attractor making the initial conditions irrelevant. One of the opinions is predetermined to become the majority whatever initial support it has. Accordingly, to make a threshold dynamics non threshold appears to be an instrumental strategic option. An illustration of the possibility of such a reshaping of the opinion dynamics geometry is given using the Galam sequential opinion dynamics model. The key parameters are pair interactions and inflexible or stubborn agents. A new and counter intuitive light is shed on the design of winning strategies in public issues. However the findings pose ethical issues. The case of global warming is discussed.

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