EXTREME DISSENT, CONFORMITY REDUCTION AND THE BASES OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE

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Abstract:

This study investigated how “correct” and “incorrect” dissenters from erroneous group consensus affect conformity on visual and opinion stimuli under normative and informational social pressure. Subjects were female undergraduates exposed to group pressure in a Tuddenbam-type electrical signaling apparatus. Results indicated that the relative impact on con-fortuity of “correct” and “incorrect” dissenters was not significantly affected by type of social pressure. Regardless of social pressure, a dissenter giving correct, or popular, answers (social supporter) reduced conformity significantly on both types of stimuli, compared with a unanimous condition. However, a dissenter answering even more incorrectly than the erroneous majority (extreme dissenter) reduced conformity significantly only on visual items. Results, though consistent with earlier data, cast doubt on the generality of a recent interpretation by Allen and Levine (1968, 1969) of dissenter efficacy on visual items.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1975.3.2.117

Publication date: January 1, 1975

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