Collective opinion and attitude dynamics dependency on informational and normative social influences

Chung Yuan Huang*, Pen Jung Tzou, Chuen-Tsai Sun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In a continuous opinion dynamics model using a bounded confidence assumption, individuals can only influence each other’s opinions when those opinions are sufficiently close. However, we often observe real-world cases in which opinions are very different, yet individuals feel compelled to change their ideas to conform with their peers or superiors (or in rare cases, are willing to change them voluntarily). In other words, individuals tend to consider the practical value of conformity and worry about rejection if they do not adopt the opinions of the majority. To explore the influences of private acceptance of informational social influences and public compliance with normative social influences on collective opinion and attitude dynamics, we have created a model in which attitude and opinion respectively represent an agent’s private and expressed thoughts. Results from a series of simulation experiments indicate that our simplified model is as valid as previous opinion dynamics models also based on the bounded confidence assumption, but with different dynamics and outcomes regarding group opinion and attitude. To demonstrate our proposed model’s potential value and applications, we briefly discuss two issues of import to sociologists: Pluralistic ignorance formation and destruction and minority influence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-892
Number of pages18
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011


  • bounded confidence
  • opinion dynamics
  • pluralistic ignorance
  • private acceptance
  • public compliance

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