[NRG] Reminder: NRG Meeting: Biased assimilation, homophily, and the dyna... @ Mon Nov 3, 2014 11am - 12pm (NRG Calendar)

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Sun Nov 2 11:00:04 EST 2014

This is a reminder for:

Title: NRG Meeting: Biased assimilation, homophily, and the dynamics of  
polarization (Larissa Spinelli)
Title: Biased assimilation, homophily, and the dynamics of polarization

Presenter: Larissa Spinelli


The talk will mostly cover the paper "Biased assimilation, homophily, and  
the dynamics of polarization" [1] and additionally, couple simulation  
results from its recommendation system models.

Paper Abstract:

We study the issue of polarization in society through a model of opinion  
formation. We say an opinion formation process is polarizing if it results  
in increased divergence of opinions. Empirical studies have shown that  
homophily, i.e., greater interaction between like-minded individuals,  
results in polarization. However, we show that DeGroot's well-known model  
of opinion formation based on repeated averaging can never be polarizing,  
even if individuals are arbitrarily homophilous. We generalize DeGroot's  
model to account for a phenomenon well known in social psychology as biased  
assimilation: When presented with mixed or inconclusive evidence on a  
complex issue, individuals draw undue support for their initial position,  
thereby arriving at a more extreme opinion. We show that in a simple model  
of homophilous networks, our biased opinion formation process results in  
polarization if individuals are sufficiently biased. In other words,  
homophily alone, without biased assimilation, is not sufficient to polarize  
society. Quite interestingly, biased assimilation also provides a framework  
to analyze the polarizing effect of Internet-based recommender systems that  
show us personalized content.

[1] - Social Sciences - Social Sciences - Physical Sciences - Computer  
Pranav Dandekar, Ashish Goel, and David T. Lee
Biased assimilation, homophily, and the dynamics of polarization
PNAS 2013 110 (15) 5791-5796; published ahead of print March 27, 2013,  

When: Mon Nov 3, 2014 11am - 12pm Eastern Time
Where: MCS 148
Calendar: NRG Calendar
     * Yuefeng Wang - creator

Event details:  

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