Majority versus minority influence: the role of message processing in determining resistance to counter-persuasion

Robin Martin*, Miles Hewstone, Pearl Y. Martin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Two experiments examined the extent to which attitudes changed following majority and minority influence are resistant to counter-persuasion. In both experiments participants' attitudes were measured after being exposed to two messages, delayed in time, which argued opposite positions (initial message and counter-message). In the first experiment, attitudes following minority endorsement of the initial message were more resistant to a second counter-message only when the initial message contained strong versus weak arguments. Attitudes changed following majority influence did not resist the second counter-message and returned to their pre-test level. Experiment 2 varied whether memory was warned (i.e., message recipients expected to recall the message) or not, to manipulate message processing. When memory was warned, which should increase message processing, attitudes changed following both majority and minority influence resisted the second counter-message. The results support the view that minority influence instigates systematic processing of its arguments, leading to attitudes that resist counter-persuasion. Attitudes formed following majority influence yield to counter-persuasion unless there is a secondary task that encourages message processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-34
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008

Fingerprint

Persuasive Communication

Cite this

@article{3f9c1f24f87b42179ab7a49e8a5db5cb,
title = "Majority versus minority influence: the role of message processing in determining resistance to counter-persuasion",
abstract = "Two experiments examined the extent to which attitudes changed following majority and minority influence are resistant to counter-persuasion. In both experiments participants' attitudes were measured after being exposed to two messages, delayed in time, which argued opposite positions (initial message and counter-message). In the first experiment, attitudes following minority endorsement of the initial message were more resistant to a second counter-message only when the initial message contained strong versus weak arguments. Attitudes changed following majority influence did not resist the second counter-message and returned to their pre-test level. Experiment 2 varied whether memory was warned (i.e., message recipients expected to recall the message) or not, to manipulate message processing. When memory was warned, which should increase message processing, attitudes changed following both majority and minority influence resisted the second counter-message. The results support the view that minority influence instigates systematic processing of its arguments, leading to attitudes that resist counter-persuasion. Attitudes formed following majority influence yield to counter-persuasion unless there is a secondary task that encourages message processing.",
author = "Robin Martin and Miles Hewstone and Martin, {Pearl Y.}",
year = "2008",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1002/ejsp.426",
language = "English",
volume = "38",
pages = "16--34",
journal = "European Journal of Social Psychology",
issn = "0046-2772",
publisher = "John Wiley and Sons Ltd",
number = "1",

}

Majority versus minority influence : the role of message processing in determining resistance to counter-persuasion. / Martin, Robin; Hewstone, Miles; Martin, Pearl Y.

In: European Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 38, No. 1, 01.01.2008, p. 16-34.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Majority versus minority influence

T2 - the role of message processing in determining resistance to counter-persuasion

AU - Martin, Robin

AU - Hewstone, Miles

AU - Martin, Pearl Y.

PY - 2008/1/1

Y1 - 2008/1/1

N2 - Two experiments examined the extent to which attitudes changed following majority and minority influence are resistant to counter-persuasion. In both experiments participants' attitudes were measured after being exposed to two messages, delayed in time, which argued opposite positions (initial message and counter-message). In the first experiment, attitudes following minority endorsement of the initial message were more resistant to a second counter-message only when the initial message contained strong versus weak arguments. Attitudes changed following majority influence did not resist the second counter-message and returned to their pre-test level. Experiment 2 varied whether memory was warned (i.e., message recipients expected to recall the message) or not, to manipulate message processing. When memory was warned, which should increase message processing, attitudes changed following both majority and minority influence resisted the second counter-message. The results support the view that minority influence instigates systematic processing of its arguments, leading to attitudes that resist counter-persuasion. Attitudes formed following majority influence yield to counter-persuasion unless there is a secondary task that encourages message processing.

AB - Two experiments examined the extent to which attitudes changed following majority and minority influence are resistant to counter-persuasion. In both experiments participants' attitudes were measured after being exposed to two messages, delayed in time, which argued opposite positions (initial message and counter-message). In the first experiment, attitudes following minority endorsement of the initial message were more resistant to a second counter-message only when the initial message contained strong versus weak arguments. Attitudes changed following majority influence did not resist the second counter-message and returned to their pre-test level. Experiment 2 varied whether memory was warned (i.e., message recipients expected to recall the message) or not, to manipulate message processing. When memory was warned, which should increase message processing, attitudes changed following both majority and minority influence resisted the second counter-message. The results support the view that minority influence instigates systematic processing of its arguments, leading to attitudes that resist counter-persuasion. Attitudes formed following majority influence yield to counter-persuasion unless there is a secondary task that encourages message processing.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=39749095928&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ejsp.426

U2 - 10.1002/ejsp.426

DO - 10.1002/ejsp.426

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:39749095928

VL - 38

SP - 16

EP - 34

JO - European Journal of Social Psychology

JF - European Journal of Social Psychology

SN - 0046-2772

IS - 1

ER -