Majority versus minority influence: When, not whether, source status instigates heuristic or systematic processing

Martin, R. and Hewstone, M. (2003) Majority versus minority influence: When, not whether, source status instigates heuristic or systematic processing. European Journal of Social Psychology, 33 3: 313-330. doi:10.1002/ejsp.146


Author Martin, R.
Hewstone, M.
Title Majority versus minority influence: When, not whether, source status instigates heuristic or systematic processing
Journal name European Journal of Social Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0046-2772
Publication date 2003-05-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/ejsp.146
Volume 33
Issue 3
Start page 313
End page 330
Total pages 18
Place of publication Bognor Regis, England
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2003
Language eng
Subject C1
1799 Other Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
1701 Psychology
Abstract Two experiments investigated the extent of message processing of a persuasive communication proposed by either a numerical majority or minority. Both experiments crossed source status (majority versus minority) with message quality (strong versus weak arguments) to determine which source condition is associated with systematic processing. The first experiment showed a reliable difference between strong and weak messages, indicating systematic processing had occurred, for a minority irrespective of message direction (pro- versus counter-attitudinal), but not for a majority. The second experiment showed that message outcome moderates when a majority or a minority leads to systematic processing. When the message argued for a negative personal outcome, there was systematic processing only for the majority source; but when the message did not argue for a negative personal outcome, there was systematic processing only for the minority source. Thus one key moderator of whether a majority or minority source leads to message processing is whether the topic induces defensive processing motivated by self-interest. Copyright (C) 2002 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.
Keyword Psychology, Social
Attitude-change
Information
Determinant
Persuasion
Consensus
Scrutiny
Bias
Q-Index Code C1

 
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 12:12:57 EST