Opinion dynamics of social learning with a conflicting source

Catherine Glass, David H. Glass

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11 Citations (Scopus)
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The way in which agents are influenced by the truth and/or a conflicting source can have a significant effect on the extent to which social learning is successful. We investigate these influences via several variations of the Hegselmann-Krause model of opinion dynamics. First, we compare two ways of modelling the influence of truth in the absence of a conflicting source and find that in a model where access to the truth is more restricted, increasing the proportion of truth seekers in the society has little effect on convergence to the truth. Second, we investigate the same models of truth in the presence of a conflicting source, which could represent the opinions of a radical group, opinion leader or media source. The results show that a consensus on the truth can be reached in certain cases in both models, but also that in a wide range of cases both models give rise to the same partition of the society into truth seekers and non-truth seekers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125480
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Early online date27 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Hegselmann–Krause model
  • Opinion dynamics
  • Opinion leader
  • Social learning
  • Stubborn agents
  • Truth


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