How Opinion Leaders Affect Others on Seeking Truth in a Bounded Confidence Model

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Seeking truth is an important objective of agents in social groups. Opinion leaders in social groups may help or hinder the other agents on seeking the truth by symmetric nature. This paper studies the impact of opinion leaders by considering four characteristics of opinion leaders-reputation, stubbornness, appeal, and extremeness-on the truth-seeking behavior of agents based on a bounded confidence model. Simulations show that increasing the appeal of the leader whose opinion is opposite to the truth has a straightforward impact, i.e., it normally prevents the agents from finding the truth. On the other hand, it also makes the agents who start out close to the truth move away from the truth by increasing the group bound of confidence, if there is an opinion leader opposite to the truth. The results demonstrate that the opinion of the leader is important in affecting the normal agents to reach the truth. Furthermore, for some cases, small variations of the parameters defining the agents' characteristics can lead to large scale changes in the social group.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1362
Number of pages18
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2020


  • Bounded confidence model
  • Opinion dynamics
  • Opinion leader
  • Social network


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