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Consensus, contagion and clustering in a space-time model of public opinion formation

University of Southampton
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  • H Social Sciences (General)


We study a simple model of pre-electoral opinion formation that posits that interaction between neighbouring voters leads to bandwagons in the dynamics of the individual process, as well as in that of the aggregate process. We show that in different specifications of the model, there is a tendency for the process to show consensus, i.e. to approach a configuration of homogeneous support for one candidate, out of the two who run the electoral campaign. We point out that the process displays the feature that, after long time spans, a sequence of states occur which, when viewed locally, remain almost stationary and are characterized by large clusters of individuals of the same opinion.

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