Argument Exchange Dynamics in a Population with Divergent Mindsets

Based on a biological model of speciation [1] and a recent application of these ideas to opinion bi-polarization [2], we develop a simple model of argument persuasion, which allows to analyze the effects of different world views. In the model, agents exchange beliefs about facts. Agents evaluate these facts and form an attitudinal judgement on an issue through their cultural glasses. Facts may, if believed, contribute positively or negatively to this judgement in a way borrowed from expectancy value theory [3]. The interaction probability of two agents depends on two types of homophily: one based on the difference of their attitudes and the other one based on whether they belong to the same culture. The major focus of this contribution is an analysis of the effects that the interplay of opinion homophily and cultural segregation may have on the dynamics of opinion formation by argument persuasion. We analytically characterize the setting of two facts and beliefs about their truth or untruth modeled as binary variables. Our analysis shows that cultural diversity may play a depolarizing role in argument exchange processes. We will discuss the potential and limitations of the model with respect to (i) the simple setup required for the analytical formulation, (ii) our notion of culture and (iii) the link to opinion and argument mining.

Authors: 
Sven Banisch, Tat Dat Tran and Eckehard Olbrich
Room: 
4
Date: 
Monday, September 24, 2018 - 12:15 to 12:30

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