Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Shyam Gouri Suresh
In the current age of mass media and technology, people are more polarized than before due to the ease and liberty of spreading personal opinions on certain issues. From a sociological perspective, human opinion springs from the concept of singular identity and the idea that all human beings are the same, rather than “diversely different”. This divisiveness creates social clusters in a population, which creates antagonism between other groups and rapport with like-minded people. However, history has shown that extreme polarization can be potentially dangerous as it can lead to conflict. At what point is this reached? As demonstrated in this model, certain scenarios are more susceptible to conflict of greater magnitude than others. However, the primary determinants in conflict are cluster sizes, dispersion of a cluster’s stance on an issue, and their passion regarding an issue. Albeit a simplified model of reality, this can forecast a given scenario’s outcome based on the polarization of a population on multiple issues.