Special Lecture

Understanding the Dynamics of Opinions in a Fully-Mixed Population
Friday, 2 March 2018 - 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
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Free of charge
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Speaker: Rebecca Tyson - UBC Okanagan

Opinions on a subject with just two sides can nonetheless be held with different degrees of conviction, which leads to different patterns of influence when individuals interact.  Individuals with more strongly-held opinions can have greater influence than those with moderate opinions, or less, if others are wary of extreme views.  We use a differential equation model to understand how the  distribution of opinions evolves under various interaction and influence scenarios.  In particular, we explore the conditions that lead to polarisation (the division of a population into two camps each holding only the corresponding extreme view) and centering (a population largely distributed on more moderate opinions on both sides of an issue).