New publication: hiding opinions by minimizing disclosed information

Our paper is published in The Journal of Mathmatical Sociology. The paper introduces obfsucation — the strategy to minimize disclosed information — to opinion dynamics and provides a two illustrative examples. Obfuscation lies between honesty (transparency) and deception, and has received wide attention recently (see a recent publication from the behave team and the obfuscation workshop held in 2021). The abstract of the paper is as follows:

In the field of opinion dynamics, the hiding of opinions is routinely modeled as staying silent. However, staying silent is not always feasible. In situations where opinions are indirectly expressed by one’s observable actions, people may however try to hide their opinions via a more complex and intelligent strategy called obfuscation, which minimizes the information disclosed to others. This study proposes a formal opinion dynamics model to study the hitherto unexplored effect of obfuscation on public opinion formation based on the recently developed Action-Opinion Inference Model. For illustration purposes, we use our model to simulate two cases with different levels of complexity, highlighting that the effect of obfuscation largely depends on the subtle relations between actions and opinions.