participants - 12th Edition Artificial Economics Rome 20th-21st September 2016

12th Artificial Economics Conference
co-located with Social Simulation Conference


Paper submission: April 18th 2016

Acceptance notification: June 6th 2016

Early registration: July 15th 2016


20th-21st September 2016

Polarization and Conformity in the Coevolution of Beliefs and Networks

Graeme Walker


This paper sets out to understand the behavioural foundations of polarization – extreme and opposing views of different groups in a society – and conformity - the tendency of people to match their beliefs to those of others. These social phenomena are studied by generalizing the coevolutionary model developed in Arifovic, Eaton, and Walker (2015) to allow for a wider range of learning behaviours. Unlike when learning follows a process of weighted averages, learning involving weighted medians can generate bifurcated networks with polarized beliefs. Learning via weighted medians can also lead to connected, conformist networks.