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The impact of hypocrisy on opinion formation: A dynamic model
Yale NUS Coll, Singapore; Hungarian Acad Sci, Hungary.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, The Institute for Analytical Sociology, IAS. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Hungarian Acad Sci, Hungary.
Hungarian Acad Sci, Hungary; Lorand Eotvos Univ ELTE, Hungary.
Hungarian Acad Sci, Hungary.
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2019 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 14, no 6, article id e0218729Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Humans have a demonstrated tendency to copy or imitate the behavior and attitude of others and actively influence each others opinions. In plenty of empirical contexts, publicly revealed opinions are not necessarily in line with internal opinions, causing complex social influence dynamics. We study to what extent hypocrisy is sustained during opinion formation and how hidden opinions change the convergence to consensus in a group. We build and analyze a modified version of the voter model with hypocrisy in a complete graph with a neutral competition between two alternatives. We compare the process from various initial conditions, varying the proportions between the two opinions in the external (revealed) and internal (hidden) layer. According to our results, hypocrisy always prolongs the time needed for reaching a consensus. In a complete graph, this time span increases linearly with group size. We find that the group-level opinion emerges in two steps: (1) a fast and directional process, during which the number of the two kinds of hypocrites equalizes; and (2) a slower, random drift of opinions. During stage (2), the ratio of opinions in the external layer is approximately equal to the ratio in the internal layer; that is, the hidden opinions do not differ significantly from the revealed ones at the group level. We furthermore find that the initial abundances of opinions, but not the initial prevalence of hypocrisy, predicts the mean consensus time and determines the opinions probabilities of winning. These insights highlight the unimportance of hypocrisy in consensus formation under neutral conditions. Our results have important societal implications in relation to hidden voter preferences in polls and improve our understanding of opinion formation in a more realistic setting than that of conventional voter models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE , 2019. Vol. 14, no 6, article id e0218729
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
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URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-160444DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0218729ISI: 000482883600049PubMedID: 31242270OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-160444DiVA, id: diva2:1353447
Note

Funding Agencies|European Research Council (ERC) under the European Unions Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme [648693]; NKFIH-OTKA [K109215, K124438, K112929]; Szechenyi 2020 program [GINOP-2.3.2-15-2016-00019]

Available from: 2019-09-23 Created: 2019-09-23 Last updated: 2019-11-28

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