Social systems are characterized by the presence of group interactions and by the existence of both trust and distrust relations. Although there is a wide literature on signed social networks, where positive signs associated to the links indicate trust, friendship, agreement, while negative signs represent distrust, antagonism, and disagreement, very little is known about the effect that signed interactions can have on the spreading of social behaviors when, not only pairwise, but also higher-order interactions are taken into account. In this paper, we introduce a model of complex contagion on signed simplicial complexes, and we investigate the role played by trust and distrust on the dynamics of a social contagion process, where exposure to multiple sources is needed for the contagion to occur. The presence of higher-order signed structures in our model naturally induces new infection and recovery mechanisms, thus increasing the richness of the contagion dynamics. Through numerical simulations and analytical results in the mean-field approximation, we show how distrust determines the way the system moves from a state where no individuals adopt the social behavior, to a state where a finite fraction of the population actively spreads it. Interestingly, we observe that the fraction of spreading individuals displays a non-monotonic dependence with respect to the average number of connections between individuals. We then investigate how social balance affects social contagion, finding that balanced triads have an ambivalent impact on the spreading process, either promoting or impeding contagion based on the relative abundance of fully trusted relations. Our results shed light on the nontrivial effect of trust on the spreading of social behaviors in systems with group interactions, paving the way to further investigations of spreading phenomena in structured populations.

COMPLEX CONTAGION IN SOCIAL SYSTEMS WITH DISTRUST

Latora V.;
2024-01-01

Abstract

Social systems are characterized by the presence of group interactions and by the existence of both trust and distrust relations. Although there is a wide literature on signed social networks, where positive signs associated to the links indicate trust, friendship, agreement, while negative signs represent distrust, antagonism, and disagreement, very little is known about the effect that signed interactions can have on the spreading of social behaviors when, not only pairwise, but also higher-order interactions are taken into account. In this paper, we introduce a model of complex contagion on signed simplicial complexes, and we investigate the role played by trust and distrust on the dynamics of a social contagion process, where exposure to multiple sources is needed for the contagion to occur. The presence of higher-order signed structures in our model naturally induces new infection and recovery mechanisms, thus increasing the richness of the contagion dynamics. Through numerical simulations and analytical results in the mean-field approximation, we show how distrust determines the way the system moves from a state where no individuals adopt the social behavior, to a state where a finite fraction of the population actively spreads it. Interestingly, we observe that the fraction of spreading individuals displays a non-monotonic dependence with respect to the average number of connections between individuals. We then investigate how social balance affects social contagion, finding that balanced triads have an ambivalent impact on the spreading process, either promoting or impeding contagion based on the relative abundance of fully trusted relations. Our results shed light on the nontrivial effect of trust on the spreading of social behaviors in systems with group interactions, paving the way to further investigations of spreading phenomena in structured populations.
2024
Complex contagion
higher-order interactions
signed simplicial complexes
social balance theory
trust and distrust in social interactions
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/617469
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