The Effect of In-Group Favoritism on the Collective Behavior of Individuals’ Opinions

Advances in Complex Systems, Vol. 18, March 2015

27 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2016

See all articles by Meysam Alizadeh

Meysam Alizadeh

Princeton University - Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

Claudio Cioffi-Revilla

George Mason University - Center for Social Complexity; American Association for the Advancement of Science; American Mathematical Society; Society for Political Methodology

Andrew Crooks

George Mason University

Date Written: March 25, 2015

Abstract

Empirical findings from social psychology show that sometimes people show favoritism toward in-group members in order to reach a global consensus, even against individuals’ own preferences (e.g., altruistically or deontically). Here we integrate ideas and findings on in-group favoritism, opinion dynamics, and radicalization using an agent-based model entitled cooperative bounded confidence (CBC). We investigate the interplay of homophily, rejection, and in-group cooperation drivers on the formation of opinion clusters and the emergence of extremist, radical opinions. Our model is the first to explicitly explore the effect of in-group favoritism on the macro-level, collective behavior of opinions. We compare our model against the two-dimentional bounded confidence model with rejection mechanism, proposed by Huet et al. [Adv. Complex Syst. 13(3) (2010) 405– 423], and find that the number of opinion clusters and extremists is reduced in our model. Moreover, results show that group influence can never dominate homophilous and rejecting encounters in the process of opinion cluster formation. We conclude by discussing implications of our model for research on collective behavior of opinions emerging from individuals’ interaction.

Keywords: Opinion Dynamics; In-Group Favoritism; Homophily; Radicalization; Extremism

Suggested Citation

Alizadeh, Meysam and Cioffi-Revilla, Claudio and Crooks, Andrew, The Effect of In-Group Favoritism on the Collective Behavior of Individuals’ Opinions (March 25, 2015). Advances in Complex Systems, Vol. 18, March 2015 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2830322

Meysam Alizadeh (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Princeton School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States

Claudio Cioffi-Revilla

George Mason University - Center for Social Complexity ( email )

430 Alhambra Circle
Coral Gables, FL 33134
United States

HOME PAGE: http://socialcomplexity.gmu.edu

American Association for the Advancement of Science ( email )

Washington, DC 20005
United States

American Mathematical Society ( email )

Society for Political Methodology ( email )

Andrew Crooks

George Mason University ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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