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Flashcards in Minority And Majority Influence Deck (23):

Minority influence

Anti - conformity - minority groups influence others and end up becoming a majority group


3 behavioural styles




Assume minority is in error to start with
If they are consistent, majority reassesses the situation and considers the issue more carefully


Evidence for consistency



Moscovici procedure

Each group contains 4 participants and 2 confederates
Shown series of blue slides that varied in intensity of colour
Asked to judge each colour of slide
Consistent experiment - confederates called blue slides green consistency
Inconsistent experiment - confederates called blue slides green 2/3 of the trials
Control experiment - 6 participants called all tiles blue throughout


Moscovici findings

Consistent experiment - participants said green for over 8% of trials
Inconsistent experiment - no influence and remained the same as the control group


After main experiment...

Participants were asked to sort 16 tiles into either blue or green
Consistent group - sorted more green tiles than blue ones
Inconsistent group - sorted more blue tiles than green tiles


Moscovici conclusions

Suggested internalisation - as consistent group participants conformed privately and publicly and adopted the minorities views on the colour of the tiles


Moscovici evaluation

Lacks mundane realism
Mayer - minorities who were constant were more successful at influencing the majority than those who weren’t



Minorities who are rigid in their believes will be less persuasive
To be successful, minority needs to be flexible and slightly inconsistent


Evidence to support flexibility



Nemeth procedure

Jury situation - group of members were asked to discus the amount of compensation to be paid to someone involved in a ski lift accident


Nemeth findings

When confederate put forward an alternative point of view and refused to change - there was no affect on majority
When confederate compromised and showed some degree of shift towards the majority- did influence the rest of the group
###this was only evident for those who shifted later on in the negotiation rather than those who shifted earlier - isn’t then perceived as caving in



Commitment shows they are certain, confident and suggests courage in the face of a hostile majority

Joining a majority group has greater cost for the individual than staying with the majority - degree of commitment is often higher in minority than majority for that reason


Who found a tipping point for the number of minority people required to change the majorities believes

Xie - social network where individuals were free to talk
Added some individuals representing alternative bier points which were expressed consistently
Needed 10% of people with alternative views to influence majority


Social change

Occurs when whole societies adopt new attitudes, beliefs and ways of doing things


Social change through minority influence

Drawing attention to issue - creates conflict
Role of conflict - majority thinks about minorities viewpoints
Consistency of position - taken more seriously when consistent
Augmentation principle - risks are involved (taken more seriously)
Snowball effect - views spread more widely until tipping point which leads to wide scale social change
Social crypto amnesia - people don’t remember what it used to be like as then minorities views become the majority and the norm which we are used to


Majority influence - social norms intervention

Typically starts by identifying in a widespread misperception relating to a specific risky behaviour within a target population


Perceived norm

What you think others believe


Actual norm

What others actually believe



Gap between the percieved and actual norm


Social norm intervention

Used to correct the misperception to cause social change


Evidence for social norm intervention

Norlan - hung messages on doors
One group said ‘ most residents are trying to reduce their energy uses’
Other group had no reference to the majority of others

Significant decrease in energy uses in first group compared to second group
Shows conforming to majority can lead to social change through normative social influence