Opinion Formation in a Heterogenous Society
Opinion formation and opinion leadership has attracted a lot of research among sociologists and physicists in the last decades. The first concept of opinion leadership goes back to Lazarsfeld et al.  in 1944. Larzarsfeld et al. found out that during the presidential elections in 1940 interpersonal communication showed greater influence than direct media effects. In their theory of two-step flow communication opinion leaders, who are activemedia users, select, modify and transmit information from the media to the less active part of the community. In later models sociologists gained a different view of opinion leadership by introducing the notion of public individuation. Public individuation describes how people want to differentiate and act differently from other people, see . This attitude is a necessary prerequisite for an opinion leader, since she or he has to stand out against the masses. Characteristic features of opinion leaders are their high self esteem and confidence as well as their ability to withstand criticism. Although new technologies like the internet, blogs or instant messaging changed the way of communication and information dissemination globally, opinion leadership still plays a critical role in opinion formation processes.
KeywordsOpinion Leader Opinion Formation Discontinuous Galerkin Senior Citizen Direct Simulation Monte Carlo
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Boudin, L., Monaco, R., Salvarani, F.: A kinetic model for multidimensional opinion formation. Phys. Rev. E 81, 036, 109 (2010)Google Scholar
- 4.Deffuant, G., Amblard, F., Weisbuch, G., Faure, T.: How can extremism prevail? a study based on the relative agreement interaction model. JASSS J. Art. Soc. Soc. Sim 5(4) (2002)Google Scholar
- 5.Düring, B., Markowich, P., Pietschmann, J.F., Wolfram, M.T.: Boltzmann and Fokker-Planck equations modelling opinion formation in the presence of strong leaders. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. Ser. A Math. Phys. Eng. Sci. 465(2112), 3687–3708 (2009). DOI 10.1098/rspa.2009.0239. URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspa.2009.0239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 6.Egger, H., Schoberl, J.: A hybrid mixed discontinuous Galerkin finite-element method for convection-diffusion problems. IMA J Numer Anal p. drn083 (2009). DOI 10.1093/imanum/drn083. URL http://imajna.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/drn083v1Google Scholar
- 8.Lazarsfeld, P., Berelson, B., Gaudet, H.: The people’s choice: How the voter makes up his mind in a presidential campaign. Duell, Sloan, Pearce (1944)Google Scholar
- 10.S., G.: Heterogeneous beliefs, segregation, and extremism in the making of public opinions. Phys. Rev. E 71(4), 046, 123 (2005)Google Scholar
- 13.Toscani, G.: Kinetic models of opinion formation. Commun. Math. Sci. 4(3), 481–496 (2006). URL http://projecteuclid.org/getRecord?id=euclid.cms/1175797553Google Scholar
- 14.Weidlich, W.: A systematic approach to Mathematical modelling in the social sciences. Harwood Academic Publishers (2000)Google Scholar