Psychology AS - Characteristics of Minority Influence

We were in the computer room for this lesson, so I wrote some of it up allnicely. :]

Basically just an overview of Minority influence vs. Majority influence, and what characteristics of minorities we find impressive or appealing.

Includes an essay question at the end that I was given as homework at the time - maybe it can help with revision?

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  • Created by: Polly
  • Created on: 27-12-08 21:24
Preview of Psychology AS - Characteristics of Minority Influence

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Characteristics of Minorities that impress.
1. Consistency
2. Flexibility (dogmatic)
3. Commitment
4. Relevance
5. Approachability/Realism
Moscovici characteristics that can lead to conversion of a majority to a minority
Social Impact Theory;
Latané and Wolf (1981) thought that minority and majority influence
were similar. To impress, you need;
-Strength; determined by numbers of people
present or consistency of the message. For example,
hearing the opinion of friends, who may not all be in
close agreement, would be similar in strength to one
person, such as a politician, forcefully delivering their
message on television every night.
-Status & knowledge; people will be equally
influenced by a lot of amateurs or one independent
expert. The same would apply to individuals with
greater status ­ you need fewer of them with higher
intellectual status to make a bigger impact.
-Immediacy; the closer you are to the influencer
(physically, such as face-to-face vs. radio //
psychologically, such as a close friend/family vs.
acquaintance), the more effect their message will have.
These qualities in a group will be most convincing. The effect of
social influence in any situation is a combination of all three factors.
Some situations mean these could lead to a majority influence, (e.g.
where strength in numbers may be high but status and immediacy
low, like a protest or strike), whereas in other situations, a minority
influence would occur (e.g. where strength in numbers is low but
the person giving the message has a high status and consistency, like
a celebrity appealing to the public over personal beliefs or issues).

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