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The Processes of Minority Influence in an Ideological Confrontation

B. Gaffié
Political Psychology
Vol. 13, No. 3 (Sep., 1992), pp. 407-427
DOI: 10.2307/3791605
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3791605
Page Count: 21
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The Processes of Minority Influence in an Ideological Confrontation
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Abstract

In a situation of ideological confrontation, where the pressure for orthodoxy is very strong, a group of political militants reacts differently according to three factors: nature of the source, group consensus on the attested position, intensity of the initial opinion. Experimentation in a natural environment reveals the differentiating effects of this combination of variables. Whereas the effect of an external divergent minority is, in all cases, a retreat to more orthodox positions, the effect of an internal divergent minority-beyond weakening the majority consensus-depends on the degree of "nomy" of the initial position of the group towards the object of debate.

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