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What do you call the person in a group whose opinion everyone agrees with?

Here's the background: we have a group of people whose job is to render opinions. At the end of the session we see which person disagreed with others most often ("the iconoclast"), and the person who agreed with others most often ("the what?")

We do not consider it worse to be in agreement with more people. That's why we don't like opposites of iconoclast like "conformist" or "yes-man."

"Trendsetter" is nice, but since opinions are offered separately and secretly, it's not true that other people follow this person's opinion -- they just happen to agree.

  • Lowest common denominator (just joking). – k1eran Nov 20 '19 at 9:51
  • I don't think there's a word for it. They're just "ordinary" or "undistinguished" and we don't usually need to refer to them specifically. – Barmar Nov 20 '19 at 23:57
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    hello and welcome. please note the requirement at the tag for single-word requests: . To ensure that your question is not closed as off-topic, please be specific about the intended use of the word. INCLUDE A SAMPLE SENTENCE demonstrating how the word would be used. – Arm the good guys in America Nov 22 '19 at 6:09
  • A monopole: A central position, a medium, a neutrum, the hard core, the centre of gravity, majority, establishment, the common ground, ground truth, the rock in the sea (that's idiomatic, right? viz G Fels in der Brandung), top of the pops, common sense dictator – vectory Nov 23 '19 at 19:18
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We settled on "bellwether." It kind of connotes "where you look to see which way the wind is blowing." It sort of hides the "follower" aspect, even though the literal meaning of bellwether has to do with sheep and does connote leader/follower

:-\

I'll leave the question unanswered in case something better comes along.

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    +1 for "bellwether". In Britain, in the context of general elections, a constituency which happens to elect a member of the same party as gets the largest number of MPs is termed a bellwether. There is no "following" here, because voters don't know which party will get the largest number of MPs until after they've voted. – Rosie F Nov 22 '19 at 10:10
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    @RosieF Yes, a "bellwether seat" is one which trends with the party in government over a very long period of time. The "most bellwether" seat in the UK, at the present time, is Dartford, where the result has reflected the overall result in every general election since 1964. – WS2 Nov 23 '19 at 18:44
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Since the word is to have nothing to do with following at all (that excludes words like leader and trendsetter), but could be used after the fact (which also excludes the word bellwether from another answer, since it is normally used predictively), I would use the more neutral representative:

[Merriam-Webster]
1 : one that represents another or others
2 : a typical example of a group, class, or quality : SPECIMEN

From the question:

At the end of the session we see which person disagreed with others most often ("the iconoclast"), and the person who agreed with others most often ("the what?")

This could be turned into a sentence such as the following:

Her views were the most representative of our own.
She was a good representative of our group.

Or, with a variation of the word:

He best represented our views.


A related word is exemplar:

[Merriam-Webster]
: one that serves as a model or example

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An "iconodule" is the opposite of an "iconoclast" in the core meaning of the latter. "Bellwether" and "contrarian" seem like a natural pair.

Narrowly, the agreeable person is the mode of the array of agreements...

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Your question strikes me as confusing if these parts are supposed to be in agreement, because the first part implies uniqueness, solitude, or singularity - call it what you want - but the latter part implies multitude:

What do you call the person in a group whose opinion everyone agrees with?

... since opinions are offered separately and secretly, it's not true that other people follow this person's opinion -- they just happen to agree.

It's not obvious in which way timeliness is supposed to make a difference, or how you would know that who's first, if it's secret--unless you were either the omni-potent narrator, representing personal pseudo omni-potent mind state, or faking omni potence to effect the reader.

I might be mistaken and the latter part just describes "trendsetter". In that case, I beg to differ with the description.


If we can tell mind-state from action (cue behavioralism) then I'd recommend

first mover

as in first mover advantage; this is however not unique to agreeable positions, but often risky speculation.


If you aim to describe a point of a homogenous mass to describe it's inertia, impuls or momentum, I suggest

center of gravity

as a rather colorful metaphor. Also cp "apex", "turning point", "anchor".


For a meronymic abstraction I'd suggest

common sense


vice versa, for a meronymic pars pro toto--I guess that's what you are really looking for--try center of gravity on for size, again, equivalently try

model [citizen, voter, politician, student]

This fits e.g. the model student, who is like others of the same stereotype, and certainly influenced by prior examples, but by definition able to form an individual opinion. Ironically, they are often voted represantative (node to @JasonBassford). This is difficult of course, because the definition is circular, but at least it's not a contradiction. Similarly cf primus.

In the sense leader, but without winning over others, nor winning-over others, try ray of hope, fountain head, spear head, proginator, predator. For someone who's in contest with the others, alpha [male] obviously fits (incidentally not the center of gravity of a flock; that would be the females; the metaphor is lacking). I'm affraid I know no term that would be completely devoid of value judgement. If alpha followed its proginator, Semitic alef (seemingly "bull"), then it could have been semantically close to "bellwether".


Since your own answer, bellwether--which surely is often confused with the unchangeable weather and thus only loosely associated with the animalic metaphor--contradicts your second constraint, I will likewise suggest one:

propagator

not propagandist but "one who propagates [information, signals]". A propagator is in principle not the initiator, so it fits the bill.


After all, It would be really helpful if you added an example sentence.

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