Agent mental models and Bayesian rules as a tool to create opinion dynamics models

06/01/2021 ∙ by André C. R. Martins, et al. ∙ 0

Traditional opinion dynamics models are simple and yet, enough to explore the consequences in basic scenarios. But, to better describe problems such as polarization and extremism, we might need to include details about human biases and other cognitive characteristics. In this paper, I explain how we can describe and use mental models and assumptions of the agents using Bayesian-inspired model building. The relationship between human rationality and Bayesian methods will be explored, and we will see that Bayesian ideas can indeed be used to explain how humans reason. We will see how to use Bayesian-inspired rules using the simplest version of the Continuous Opinions and Discrete Actions (CODA) model. From that, we will explore how we can obtain update rules that include human behavioral characteristics such as confirmation bias, motivated reasoning, or our tendency to change opinions much less than we should. Keywords: Opinion dynamics, Bayesian methods, Cognition, CODA, Agent-based models

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