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dc.contributor.authorVolovik, Danielen_US
dc.date.accessioned2015-08-07T03:40:16Z
dc.date.available2015-08-07T03:40:16Z
dc.date.issued2013
dc.date.submitted2013
dc.identifier.other(ALMA)contemp
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/2144/12872
dc.descriptionThesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University PLEASE NOTE: Boston University Libraries did not receive an Authorization To Manage form for this thesis or dissertation. It is therefore not openly accessible, though it may be available by request. If you are the author or principal advisor of this work and would like to request open access for it, please contact us at open-help@bu.edu. Thank you.en_US
dc.description.abstractI consider the evolution and acceptance of a new opinion in a population of unaware agents by using physics-based models of contagion spread. These models rely upon agentbased dynamics, in which an agent changes opinion by interactions with neighbors according to specific interactions. Most of these models have the feature that only a single input is required to change the opinion of an agent - an agent has no commitment to its current opinion and accepts a new idea at the slightest provocation. These single-input models fail to account for people's confidence in their own beliefs. Thus I study the concept of social reinforcement - that an agent adopts a new opinion only after multiple reinforcing prompts. Building on single-input models, I introduce two models of opinion spreading that incorporate a social reinforcement mechanism. (a) In the irreversible innovation and in the transient fad spreading models, a development is initially known only to a small portion of the population and subsequently spreads. An individual requires M > 1 interactions with an adopter before adopting the development. The ultimate extent of a transient fad depends critically on the characteristic time the fad keeps the attention of an adopting agent. (b) In the confident voter model, a voter can be in one of two opinion states and can additionally have two levels of commitment to an opinion: confident and vacillating. Upon interacting with an agent of a different opinion, a confident voter becomes less committed, or vacillating, but does not change opinion. However, a vacillating agent changes opinion by interacting with an agent of a different opinion. In two dimensions, the distribution of consensus times is characterized by two distinct times one that scales linearly with N and another that appears to scale as N^3/2. The longer time arises from configurations that fall into long-lived states that consist of multiple single-opinion stripes before consensus is reached.en_US
dc.language.isoen_US
dc.publisherBoston Universityen_US
dc.titleReinforcement in opinion dynamicsen_US
dc.typeThesis/Dissertationen_US
etd.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen_US
etd.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
etd.degree.disciplineStatistical Mathematicsen_US
etd.degree.grantorBoston Universityen_US


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