We study the q
-voter model driven by stochastic noise arising from one out of two types of nonconformity: anticonformity or independence. We compare two approaches that were inspired by the famous psychological controversy known as the person–situation debate. We relate the person approach with the quenched disorder and the situation approach with the annealed disorder, and investigate how these two approaches influence order–disorder phase transitions observed in the q
-voter model with noise. We show that under a quenched disorder, differences between models with independence and anticonformity are weaker and only quantitative. In contrast, annealing has a much more profound impact on the system and leads to qualitative differences between models on a macroscopic level. Furthermore, only under an annealed disorder may the discontinuous phase transitions appear. It seems that freezing the agents’ behavior at the beginning of simulation—introducing quenched disorder—supports second-order phase transitions, whereas allowing agents to reverse their attitude in time—incorporating annealed disorder—supports discontinuous ones. We show that anticonformity is insensitive to the type of disorder, and in all cases it gives the same result. We precede our study with a short insight from statistical physics into annealed vs. quenched disorder and a brief review of these two approaches in models of opinion dynamics.
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