Minority Influence Evaluation. - Coggle Diagram
Minority Influence Evaluation.
Research support for consistency.
There is research evidence that demonstrates the importance of consistency.
Moscovici et al study showed that a consistent minority opinion had a greater effect on other people than an inconsistent opinion.
Wood et al 1994
carried out a meta-analysis of almost 100 similar studies and found that minorities who were being consistent were most influential. Thus, suggesting that consistency is a major factor in minority
Research support for depth of thought.
There is research evidence to show that change to a minority position does involve deeper processing ideas.
Martin et al 2003 gave participants a message supporting a particular viewpoint and measured their support. One group of participants then heard a minority group agree with the initial view while another group heard this from a majority group. Participants were finally exposed to a conflicting view and attitudes were measured again. Martin et al found that people were less willing to change their opinions if they had listened to a minority group rather than if they were shared with a majority group.
This suggested that the minority message had been more deeply processed and had a more enduring effect, support the central agreement about how the minority influence process works.
A limitation of minority influence research is that the tasks involved for example, identifying the colour of a slide. The research is therefore far removed for how minorities attempt to change behaviour of majorities in real life.
In cases such as jury decisions making and political campaigning, the outcomes are vastly more important, sometimes event literally a matter of life or death.
This means findings of minority influence studies such ad Moscovici et al are lacking external validity and are limited in what they can tell us about how minority influence works in real-life social situations.
Research support for internalisation.
In a variation of Moscovici’s blue-green slide study, participants were allowed to write their answers down, so their responses were private, rather than stated out loud.
Private agreement with the minority position was greater in these circumstances. It appears that members of the majority were being convinced by the minority’s argument and changing their own views but were reluctant to admit to this publicly.
Moscovici though that this was probably because they didn’t want to be associated with a minority position, for fear of being considered ‘radical’ or even a ‘bit weird’.
Xie et all 2009 discovered a tipping point where the number of people holding a minority position is sufficient to change the majority opinion.
It was found that10% was the necessary percentage of commitment to tip the majority into accepting the minority position.
This is similar to the snowball effect.
Moscovici has also been criticised for deceiving his participants, as participants were told that they were taking part in a colour perception test. This also means that Moscovici did not gain fully informed consent. Although it is seen as unethical to deceive participants, Moscovici’s experiment required deception in order to achieve valid results. If the participants were aware of the true aim, they might have displayed demand characteristics and acted differently.