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International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2006)

The dynamics of conformity and dissent

Timothy Halpin-Healy
Barnard/Columbia Physics

     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: June 20, 2006

Nature is ripe with dynamical aggregation phenomena, in which an initially homogeneous collection of weakly interacting particles fragment, disperse, & coalesce. Condensation and droplet formation is, of course, a well-known example in physics, galaxy formation and clustering another. The formation of swarms, schools, herds, or even the flocking of birds provide compelling zoological illustrations. Rich stochastic behavior, as well as phase transition phenomena, are evident in different evolutionary minority (e.g., El Farol Bar), public goods, and other societal selection games, such as the Seceder Model,* which introduces a novel dynamical frustration via the competing tendencies to be distinct, yet part of the group. The Seceder Model reveals that an iterative microscopic rule favoring dissent, yet permitting conformity, cannot only lead to self-segregation & the genesis of distinct groups, but also yields an abundant diversity of cluster-forming dynamics. In this talk, we will discuss population fragmentation, ideological symmetry-breaking and nonlinear group dynamics characteristic of this intriguing model.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 90 258103* & 238701, 91 028701 (2003); cond-mat/0305356.

[subject: Opinion Dynamics/Statistical Physics/MathematicalBiology]

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