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In many Western societies there are rising concerns about increasing polarization in public debate. However, statistics on private attitudes paint a different picture: the average attitudes in societies are more moderate and remain rather stable over time. The present paper presents an agent-based model of how such discrepancies between public opinion and private attitudes develop at the scale of micro-societies. Based on social psychological theorizing, the model distinguishes between twodoi:10.1371/journal.pone.0242148 pmid:33237944 pmcid:PMC7688181 fatcat:a7wlnzgvwzawvks3hkt4ifj4xq