Resistance to persuasive messages as a function of majority and minority source status

Martin, Robin, Hewstone, Miles and Martin, Pearl Y. (2003). Resistance to persuasive messages as a function of majority and minority source status. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39 (6), pp. 585-593.


Three experiments examined the extent to which attitudes following majority and minority influence are resistant to counter-persuasion. In Experiment 1, participants’ attitudes were measured after being exposed to two messages which argued opposite positions (initial pro-attitudinal message and subsequent, counter-attitudinal counter-message). Attitudes following minority endorsement of the initial message were more resistant to a (second) counter-message than attitudes following majority endorsement of the initial message. Experiment 2 replicated this finding when the message direction was reversed (counter-attitudinal initial message and pro-attitudinal counter-message) and showed that the level of message elaboration mediated the amount of attitude resistance. Experiment 3 included conditions where participants received only the counter-message and showed that minority-source participants had resisted the second message (counter-message) rather than being influenced by it. These results show that minority influence induces systematic processing of its arguments which leads to attitudes which are resistant to counter-persuasion.

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Divisions: Aston Business School > Work & organisational psychology
Aston Business School
Aston Business School > Work & organisational psychology research group
Uncontrolled Keywords: majority influence,minority influence,counter-persuasion,opposite positions,initial pro-attitudinal,message,counter-attitudinal,counter-message,attitudes,pro-attitudinal,message elaboration,attitude resistance,systematic,resistant to counter-persuasion
Published Date: 2003-11
Authors: Martin, Robin
Hewstone, Miles
Martin, Pearl Y.


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