News

Paper published: Co-developing beliefs and social influence networks - towards understanding socio-cognitive processes like Brexit

by Bruce Edmonds, just published in the journal Quality and Quantity.

Published as:

Edmonds, B, (2019) Co-developing beliefs and social influence networks – towards understanding socio-cognitive processes like Brexit. Quality and Quantity. DOI:10.1007/s11135-019-00891-9

Abstract A model of mutual influence is presented where the structure of individual’s beliefs and the social structure both matter. The model thus combines processes of belief change base on
Thagard’s (Behav Brain Sci 12:435–467, 1989) theory of mental coherence with plausible
processes of social network change. This combination of cognitive and social processes
has outcomes that are qualitatively different from either only cognitive or only social processes,
which shows the importance of studying these together. An illustration that moves
towards representing the processes involved in Brexit is also exhibited to show the potential
of this kind of simulation. Whilst only conceived of as an illustration of a kind of model, it
is consistent with a number of observed patterns in opinion poll data, with some social and
cognitive theories and only consists of plausible processes. This kind of model could also
be used to relate and integrate different kinds of evidence into a coherent framework in the
shape of more developed simulations.

Keywords: Socio-cognitive system · Agent-based simulation · Politics · Social influence ·
Explanatory coherence · Thagard · Brexit · Opinion polls · Social intelligence · Opinions ·
Beliefs

Enhanced pdf available here – previous related version at: http://cfpm.org/discussionpapers/186