The influentials: Back to the concept of opinion leaders?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The concept of opinion leadership has been related to a lingering theoretical and methodological debate. The present study examines a new measure to identify opinion leaders (the Strength of Personality Scale) developed by the Allensbach Survey Center in Germany. The results of applying this measure in Germany and Israel allowed the testing of its validity and efficiency. The findings, however, do not suggest that the influentials identified by this scale are opinion leaders according to the original conceptualization, but fit better the more sophisticated characterization of opinion leadership that stemmed from modifications of the original concept of opinion leaders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-279
Number of pages13
JournalPublic Opinion Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1991

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
GABRIEL WEIMANN is Associate Professor of Communication and Chairman of the Department of Sociology at the University of Haifa, Israel. The author gratefully acknowledges the important contributions of Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann, Hans Eysenck, Hans-Bernd Brosius, and Robert Eisinger. The research was supported by the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, Bonn, Germany.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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