Minority Influence and Compliance
These two topics are similar, but it is very important that you do not confuse the two since there is a difference. Minority influence involves a minority persuading the majority about an opinion. Whereas compliance involves somone getting you do agree to do something (usually buy).
Minority Influence Study: Moscovici and Nemeth
The research into conformity had been very focused upon majority and the effect of a minority had been neglected.
|Aim||To discover how a minority affects a majority, depending on where they sit.|
|Method||Groups of 5 people (including one confederate) were asked to take jury-style descisions.|
The confederate was either assigned to, or chose A, B, or C (see below). They also had to take a minority view.
|Results||Little influence when assigned to any seat. But when the confederate chose where to sit; position C was very influential.|
|Conclusion||Minority influence is more likely when one is the focus of attention.|
|Evaluation||This experiment has good ecological validity, as making decisions in a group is the sort of task that someone commonly encounters in their life.|
Through research such as that described above and others. Moscovici (1985) concluded minority influence was more likely under the following conditions.
Consitency the opinion expressed must remain the same.
Flexibility the minority must not appear too rigid and dogmatic.
Commitment if the minority shows itself dedicated to the issue then conversion may result (where someone comes over to your cause) rather than compliance.
Relevance the position must be consistent with social trends.
Compliance is getting other people to agree with a request.
This is different to conformity because it relates to a specific thing. This is seen with salespeople selling door-to-door or in a shop for example.
Techniques for gaining compliance are based on the following things.
Scarcity compliance is more likely when we think something is in short supply. For example, if you are told a shop only has one or two products left in stock you will be more likely to buy it.
Friendship If someone is our friend or we like them, compliance is more likely.
Social validation This is if we think we should do something. For example, we may be more likely to donate to charity because it is percieved as something we should do.
Authority Compliance is more likely to an authoritative figure. It is important that you do not confuse this with obedience.
Reciprocity If you owe a favour to them, i.e they've already done something for you. If you go into a car saleroom and look interested the salesperson may give you a warm drink. Or if you are considering buying something very expensive they will take you out to dinner etc.