- Differential processing and attitude change following majority versus minority arguments
- British Journal of Social Psychology
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Tested the hypothesis that majority (MAJ) influence induces convergent processing, which stimulates attitude change (AC) on focal issues (FISs), whereas minority (MIN) influence produces divergent processing, which might stimulate change on related attitudes. Ss were 86 high school students. Results of a numerical support (MAJ vs MIN) by outcome involvement (high vs low) experiment with AC and cognitive activity as dependent variables yielded partial support for these predictions. MAJ arguments caused more AC on the FIS than MIN arguments, especially under high outcome involvement. Results indicate: (1) that MAJ support is more effective than MIN support in eliciting AC on FISs, (2) that both MAJ and MIN support elicit cognitive activity, which predicts AC on FISs in MAJ support, but generalization in MIN support and (3) that these processes are especially strong when there is motivation to engage in systematic processing of persuasive arguments.
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