Critical phenomena in the spreading of opinion consensus and disagreement

  • Andrés Chacoma Instituto Balseiro and Centro Atómico Bariloche
  • Damián H. Zanette Centro Atómico Bariloche
Keywords: Opinion dynamics, critical phenomena, spin systems


We consider a class of models of opinion formation where the dissemination of individual opinions occurs through the spreading of local consensus and disagreement.  We study the emergence of full collective consensus or maximal disagreement  in one- and two-dimensional arrays. In both cases, the probability of reaching full consensus exhibits well-defined scaling properties as a function of the system size. Two-dimensional systems, in particular, possess nontrivial exponents and critical points. The dynamical rules of our models, which emphasize the interaction between small groups of agents, should be considered as complementary to the imitation mechanisms of traditional opinion dynamics.


Received: 11 March 2014,  Accepted: 1 August 2014; Reviewed by: F. Bagnoli, Dipartimento di Fisica ed Astronomia, Universita degli Studi di Firenze, Italy; Edited by: G. Martinez Mekler; DOI:

Cite as: A Chacoma, D H Zanette, Papers in Physics 6, 060003 (2014)


Open Review
How to Cite
Chacoma, A., & Zanette, D. (2014). Critical phenomena in the spreading of opinion consensus and disagreement. Papers in Physics, 6, 060003.
Received 2014-03-11
Accepted 2014-08-01
Published 2014-08-29