A model for changing individual opinions in a group under the influence of interpersonal contacts and external factors

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Principal Scientific Researcher
Affiliation: Central Economics and Mathematics Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Moscow, Russian Federation
Occupation: Scientific Researcher
Affiliation: Central Economics and Mathematics Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences
Address: Moscow, Russian Federation
Journal nameEkonomika i matematicheskie metody
EditionVolume 57 Issue 1

The paper proposes a technique for computer modeling of the formation of opinions and subjective values of people under the influence of interpersonal information contacts and various external factors. It is assumed that the studied society consists of a fixed number of individuals, each of whom has its own subjective attitude to a certain socially significant phenomenon. This ratio (position) can be expressed in a numeric scale of the interval type. A dynamic model is proposed in the form of a difference system of linear equations. The basis of the interpersonal contact model is a matrix, whose coefficients express the influence of the opinions of some individuals on the positions of others. The properties of these matrices are indicated, which provide stability of stationary states of estimation systems and facilitate forecasting. Based on the derived formulas, the forecast calculations were made on conditional data, which showed the effectiveness of the proposed procedures. At the model level, the possibilities of taking into account the influence of various external factors on opinions and assessments are considered. Such factors may include living conditions, natural conditions, media, political events, etc. It is emphasized that certain external factors can express controlling influences from certain social forces that have their own goals. A specific model of influence on electoral behavior is proposed, which aims to change the proportions of votes between several candidates. The paper considers the influence of random factors on the process of forming opinions. The formulas of estimates of variances and mathematical expectations for possible forecasts are given, and the corresponding calculations for the described model are performed. It is noted that the practical use of the described methods requires the availability of official statistics and serious sociological surveys.

Keywordssubjective estimates, coefficients of mutual influence, difference equations, stationary states, external influences, random factors, electoral behavior, public opinion management
Publication date29.03.2021
Number of characters31189
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