Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Studying the emotions which cause opinions to change

Date:
July 31, 2013
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Physicists can use their tools to help understand how, in real life, opinions form and change.

Social phenomena fascinate with their complexity, but are not easily understood. Pawel Sobkowicz, an independent researcher based in Warsaw, Poland, has developed a model to study the dynamics of normal people, called 'agents', and their response to a given piece of information, depending on their emotional state. In a study about to be published in The European Physical Journal B, the author shows that opinion dynamics differ depending on whether the agent is agitated or not.

Key social questions of interest have been the object of previous studies using physics tools. The field of magnetic interactions has previously been used to compare opinions to a degree of freedom associated with atoms, called spin. Global average opinion is associated with overall magnetisation of the material, whereas sudden opinion shifts compare to magnetic materials phase transitions.

However, describing opinion change is not as simple as a spin flip of an atom. Therefore, unlike previous work, this study attempts to combine, on the single agent level, the complex interactions between information and emotions, albeit representing an approach still far from the actual complexity of the human psyche. Nevertheless, it allows modelling of opinion change or freezing of opinion, should the agent be subjected to an emotional response.

The premise for this study was to consider that a given agent opinion about a particular issue is determined by both its information about the issue and its subsequent emotional response. The author assumes the possibility of the same information leading to different opinions when agents are agitated. This results in individual opinion dynamics.

The author's findings, relevant to a simplified social environment, are directly comparable with social observations. These include the stability of minority groups surrounded by enemies and the fact that so many elections have results close to the 50/50 ratio.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Pawel Sobkowicz. Minority persistence in agent based model using information and emotional arousal as control variables. The European Physical Journal B, 2013; 86 (7) DOI: 10.1140/epjb/e2013-40029-0

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Studying the emotions which cause opinions to change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130731104142.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2013, July 31). Studying the emotions which cause opinions to change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130731104142.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Studying the emotions which cause opinions to change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130731104142.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins