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What about the others? Consensus and equilibria in the presence of self-interest and conformity in social groups

Emiliano Alvarez () and Juan Brida

Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 2019, vol. 518, issue C, 285-298

Abstract: This paper analyzes the decision-making processes of heterogeneous agents, when both individual preferences and group actions are taken into account. Under the assumptions of certain topologies of interactions and assuming cognitive and informational restrictions, an agent-based model is introduced to analyze the evolution of decisions over time. The results of the simulations show how social pressures can determine the relationship between individual and social preferences. Societies whose agents have strong individual preferences have outcomes with fragmentation processes that generates a higher number of groups. A minor importance of the individual preferences, results in a smaller proportion of individuals maximizing their individual utility. As well, the quantity of options available and the initial proportion of each alternative are significant variables to determine the proportion of individuals selecting a particular option. In addition, the study analyzes the existence of equilibrium of the dynamical system. To this aim, the notion of metastable equilibria is introduced and linked to the dynamic analysis.

Keywords: Agent-based models; Opinion dynamics; Social choice; Social preference; Metastability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2018.11.060

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