Essays on dynamic social influence

Abstract : This Ph.D. dissertation develops theories of dynamic social influence. In a dynamic framework, individuals internet repeatedly with their social environment and exchange beliefs and opinions on various economic, political and social issues. In Chapter 2, we study influence processes modeled by ordered weighted averaging operators. These operators an anonymous: they only depend on how many agents share a belief. We find a necessary and sufficient condition for convergence to consensus and characterize outcomes where the society ends up polarized. Furthermore, we apply our results to fuzzy linguistic quantifiers. ln Chapter 3, we introduce the possibility of manipulation into the model by DeGroot (1974). We show that manipulation can modify the trust structure and lead to a connected society. Manipulation fosters opinion leadership, but the manipulated agent may even gain influence on the long-run beliefs. Finally, we investigate the tension between information aggregation and spread of misinformation. In Chapter 4, we introduce conflicting interests into a model of non-Bayesian belief dynamics. Agents meet with their neighbors in the social network and exchange information strategically. With conflicting interests, the belief dynamics typically fails to converge: each agent's belief converges to some interval and keeps fluctuating on it forever.
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Manuel Förster. Essays on dynamic social influence. General Mathematics [math.GM]. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I; Université catholique de Louvain (1970-..), 2014. English. ⟨NNT : 2014PA010031⟩. ⟨tel-02164578⟩

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