A Weighted Balance Model of Opinion Hyperpolarization

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2020
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Schweighofer, Simon
Schweitzer, Frank
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Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation. SimSoc Consortium. 2020, 23(3), 5. ISSN 1460-7425. Available under: doi: 10.18564/jasss.4306
Zusammenfassung

Polarization is threatening the stability of democratic societies. Until now, polarization research has focused on opinion extremeness, overlooking the correlation between different policy issues. In this paper, we explain the emergence of hyperpolarization, i.e., the combination of extremeness and correlation between issues, by developing a new theory of opinion formation called "Weighted Balance Theory (WBT)". WBT extends Heider's cognitive balance theory to encompass multiple weighted attitudes. We validated WBT on empirical data from the 2016 National Election Survey. Furthermore, we developed an opinion dynamics model based on WBT, which, for the first time, is able to generate hyperpolarization and to explain the link between affective and opinion polarization. Finally, our theory encompasses other phenomena of opinion dynamics, including mono-polarization and backfire effects.

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320 Politik
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Polarization, Balance Theory, Opinion Dynamics, Agent-Based Modeling
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ISO 690SCHWEIGHOFER, Simon, Frank SCHWEITZER, David GARCIA, 2020. A Weighted Balance Model of Opinion Hyperpolarization. In: Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation. SimSoc Consortium. 2020, 23(3), 5. ISSN 1460-7425. Available under: doi: 10.18564/jasss.4306
BibTex
@article{Schweighofer2020Weigh-59974,
  year={2020},
  doi={10.18564/jasss.4306},
  title={A Weighted Balance Model of Opinion Hyperpolarization},
  number={3},
  volume={23},
  issn={1460-7425},
  journal={Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation},
  author={Schweighofer, Simon and Schweitzer, Frank and Garcia, David},
  note={Article Number: 5}
}
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