Information feedback and mass media effects in cultural dynamics

González-Avella, J.C.; Cosenza M.G.; Klemm K.; Eguíluz V.M.; San Miguel M.
In Proceedings of the 4th Conference of the European Social Simulation Association ESSA'07, F. Amblard, IRIT Editions, , 467-481 (2007)

We study the effects of different forms of information feedback associated with mass media on an agent-agent based model of the dynamics of cultural dissemination. Two mechanisms of information feedback are investigated: (i) direct mass media influence, where local or global mass media act as an additional element in the network of interactions of each agent, and (ii) indirect mass media influence, where global media acts as a filter of the influence of the existing network of interactions of each agent. Our results substantiate previous findings showing that cultural diversity builds-up by increasing the strength of the mass media influence. We find that this occurs independently of the mechanisms of action (direct or indirect) of the mass media message. However, through an analysis of the full range of parameters measuring cultural diversity, we establish that the enhancement of cultural diversity produced by interaction with mass media only occurs for strong enough mass media messages. A main different result is that weak mass media messages, in combination with agent-agent interaction, are efficient in producing cultural homogeneity. Moreover, the homogenizing effect of weak mass media messages are more efficient for direct local mass media
messages than for global mass media messages or indirect global mass media influences.

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