In Christoph Adami, David M. Bryson, Charles Offria & Robert T. Pennock (eds.), Artificial Life 13
. MIT Press (2012
Public health care interventions—regarding vaccination, obesity, and HIV, for example—standardly take the form of information dissemination across a community. But
information networks can vary importantly between different ethnic communities, as can levels of trust in information from different sources. We use data from the Greater Pittsburgh
Random Household Health Survey to construct models of information networks for White and Black communities--models which reflect the degree of information contact between
individuals, with degrees of trust in information from various sources correlated with positions in that social network. With simple assumptions regarding belief change and social
reinforcement, we use those modeled networks to build dynamic agent-based models of how information can be expected to flow and how beliefs can be expected to change across each community. With contrasting information from governmental and religious sources, the results show importantly different dynamic patterns of belief polarization within the two communities.