A model is being developed by researchers in order to study normal people's dynamics, called 'agents,' and their response to a given information, depending on their emotional state.
Pawel Sobkowicz, an independent researcher based in Warsaw, Poland, study has attempted to combine, on the single agent level, the complex interactions between information and emotions, albeit representing an approach still far from the actual complexity of the human psyche.
Nevertheless, it also allows modelling of opinion change or freezing of opinion, should the agent be subjected to an emotional response.
The premise for this study was to consider that a given agent opinion about a particular issue is determined by both its information about the issue and its subsequent emotional response.
The author assumes the possibility of the same information leading to different opinions when agents are agitated. This results in individual opinion dynamics.
The author's findings, relevant to a simplified social environment, are directly comparable with social observations.
These include the stability of minority groups surrounded by enemies and the fact that so many elections have results close to the 50/50 ratio.
The study is set to be published in EPJ B.