Opinion Dynamics and the Evolution of Social Power in Social Networks

  • Mengbin Ye

Part of the Springer Theses book series (Springer Theses)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Mengbin Ye
    Pages 1-14
  3. Mengbin Ye
    Pages 15-23
  4. How Differences in Private and Expressed Opinions Arise

  5. Evolution of Individual Social Power

  6. Opinion Dynamics with Interdependent Topics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 161-161
    2. Mengbin Ye
      Pages 191-199
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 201-209

About this book


This book uses rigorous mathematical analysis to advance opinion dynamics models for social networks in three major directions. First, a novel model is proposed to capture how a discrepancy between an individual’s private and expressed opinions can develop due to social pressures that arise in group situations or through extremists deliberately shaping public opinion. Detailed theoretical analysis of the final opinion distribution is followed by use of the model to study Asch’s seminal experiments on conformity, and the phenomenon of pluralistic ignorance. Second, the DeGroot-Friedkin model for evolution of an individual’s social power (self-confidence) is developed in a number of directions. The key result establishes that an individual’s initial social power is forgotten exponentially fast, even when the network changes over time; eventually, an individual’s social power depends only on the (changing) network structure. Last, a model for the simultaneous discussion of multiple logically interdependent topics is proposed. To ensure that a consensus across the opinions of all individuals is achieved, it turns out that the interpersonal interactions must be weaker than an individual’s introspective cognitive process for establishing logical consistency among the topics. Otherwise, the individual may experience cognitive overload and the opinion system becomes unstable. Conclusions of interest to control engineers, social scientists, and researchers from other relevant disciplines are discussed throughout the thesis with support from both social science and control literature.


Social Networks Analysis Influence Networks Evolution of Social Power Degroot Model Friedkin–Johnsen Model Continuous-Time Model Agent-Based Opinion Dynamics Expressed–Private–Opinion Model Opinion Dynamics on Interdependent Topics Discrepancy between Private and Expressed Opinions Pluralistic Ignorance in Social Networks Asch’s Conformity Experiments Preference Falsification Consensus of Autonomous Agents

Authors and affiliations

  • Mengbin Ye
    • 1
  1. 1.Research School of EngineeringAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Chemical Manufacturing
IT & Software
Materials & Steel
Oil, Gas & Geosciences