How peer pressure shapes consensus, leadership, and innovations in social groups

E. Estrada, E. Vargas-Estrada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
90 Downloads (Pure)


What is the effect of the combined direct and indirect social influences-peer pressure (PP)-on a social group's collective decisions? We present a model that captures PP as a function of the socio-cultural distance between individuals in a social group. Using this model and empirical data from 15 real-world social networks we found that the PP level determines how fast a social group reaches consensus. More importantly, the levels of PP determine the leaders who can achieve full control of their social groups. PP can overcome barriers imposed upon a consensus by the existence of tightly connected communities with local leaders or the existence of leaders with poor cohesiveness of opinions. A moderate level of PP is also necessary to explain the rate at which innovations diffuse through a variety of social groups.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2905
Number of pages6
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2013


  • applied mathematics
  • complex networks
  • applied physics


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