Individual and group differences in minority influence
The present study provided a modest test of Moscovici's (1980) conversion and Latane's (1981) social impact hypotheses of social influence with regard to minorities and majorities in groups. Eighty subjects were tested in a 3 x 2 x 3 mixed factorial design, including two between-subjects factors (minority and majority influence; high, moderate and low levels of the need for cognition), and a within-subjects factor (a discussion session repeated three times). Subjects in six-person groups were exposed to minority (two persons) or majority (four persons) confederate statements against student decision making regarding tuition hikes. Subjects' attitudes, idea production and recall, and delayed behavioral response were assessed. Results were mixed. Majorities induced greater immediate attitude change, but minorities yielded greater delayed response. Minorities also invoked more publicly opposing and neutral ideas, and production of questions posed to other group members. High need for cognition was generally associated with greater idea production, greater public opposition to the confederate position, and more effortful thinking. The repeated measures factor had little effect. Limitations and implications for minority influence research, person-situation literature, and cognitive response analysis are discussed.