An exploration of drivers of opinion dynamics

Els Weinans (Corresponding author), Patrick Steinmann, Elisa Perrone, Ahmadreza Marandi, George A.K. van Voorn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)


Our ability to deal with external changes is determined by our collective willingness to transform and adopt new technologies. These factors are driven by people's opinion on the change itself and the proposed policies. Humans constantly update their opinion by integrating new information they hear with their values, which helps them make a judgement about that new information. Here, we create an agent-based model that explicitly incorporates the concept of values to explore possible drivers of opinion dynamics. In the model, we explore several factors and perform local and global sensitivity analysis to test their individual and interaction effects. We find that consensus formation in the model is mainly determined by factors related to (1) the amount of stochasticity in the opinion updating procedure and (2) the relative ease with which old links are removed and new links are created. Our results demonstrate how opinions and values may co-evolve. Furthermore, they may help in understanding human responses to new policies such as covid-related restrictions or calls to shift to a more plant-based diet.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Opinion Dynamics
  • Polarization
  • Sensitivity Analysis
  • Uncertainty
  • Values


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