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Link updating strategies influence consensus decisions as a function of the direction of communication

Kunjar, S and Strandburg-Peshkin, A and Giese, H and Minasandra, P and Sarkar, S and Jolly, MK and Gradwohl, N (2023) Link updating strategies influence consensus decisions as a function of the direction of communication. In: Royal Society Open Science, 10 (6).

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.230215


Consensus decision-making in social groups strongly depends on communication links that determine to whom individuals send, and from whom they receive, information. Here, we ask how consensus decisions are affected by strategic updating of links and how this effect varies with the direction of communication. We quantified the coevolution of link and opinion dynamics in a large population with binary opinions using mean-field numerical simulations of two voter-like models of opinion dynamics: an incoming model (IM) (where individuals choose who to receive opinions from) and an outgoing model (OM) (where individuals choose who to send opinions to). We show that individuals can bias group-level outcomes in their favour by breaking disagreeing links while receiving opinions (IM) and retaining disagreeing links while sending opinions (OM). Importantly, these biases can help the population avoid stalemates and achieve consensus. However, the role of disagreement avoidance is diluted in the presence of strong preferences - highly stubborn individuals can shape decisions to favour their preferences, giving rise to non-consensus outcomes. We conclude that collectively changing communication structures can bias consensus decisions, as a function of the strength of preferences and the direction of communication.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Royal Society Open Science
Publisher: Royal Society Publishing
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to the Royal Society Publishing.
Keywords: consensus decision-making; network structures; opinion dynamics; social influence; sociophysics; user choice.
Department/Centre: Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences > Centre for Biosystems Science and Engineering
UG Programme
Division of Physical & Mathematical Sciences > Physics
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2023 10:33
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2023 10:33
URI: https://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/82460

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