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

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Abstract

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
JournalSymmetry
Volume12
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by John Templeton Foundation (grant no. 40676), National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 61673320 and 61976130), and The APC was funded by Sichuan Science and Technology Program (grant no. 2020YJ0270) and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China (grant no. 2682018CX59).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.

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

Keywords

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

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