Minority Influence

  • Created by: Emily903
  • Created on: 26-10-17 14:48
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  • Minority Influence
    • A form of social influence where members of the majority group change their beliefs as a result of exposure to a persuasive minority.
    • Moscovici (1969)
      • A: to investigate the power of minority influence.
      • P: 2 confederates and 4 participants. Shown blue slides that varied in intensity.
        • 2 conditions: consistent minority (always said the slides were green), inconsistent minority (said the slides where green on 2/3 trials)
      • F: Control = 0% conformity. Inconsistent = 1% conformity. Consistent = 8% conformity.
      • C: consistent minorities have a much greater influence than inconsistent minorities.
      • Evaluation: unethical (deception), low ecological/historical validity.
    • Minority influence behavioural charcteristics
      • Consistency: initially people feel that a minority is wrong, however if they are consistent, others come to reassess the situation and consider the issue more carefully.
        • Supported by Moscovici.
      • Commitment: it is difficult to dismiss a minority when it adopts a uncompromising and consistent commitment to its position.
        • Research by Xie et al (2011): the percentage of committed opinion holders needed to "tip" the majority into accepting the minority position was 10%, showing commitment only isn't enough. The group must not be too small.
      • Flexibility: it is more effective at changing majority opinion that rigidity of arguments as minorities must negotiate their position not reinforce it.
        • Research by Mugny (1982): found rigid majorities to be perceived as dogmatic whilst over flexible minorities were perceived as inconsistent so some flexibility is better than none.


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