chapter  11
Direct and indirect minority in¯uence in groups
Pages 22

Thirty-®ve years ago the study of social in¯uence could be equated with the study of the processes by which individuals conformed to majority opinion (i.e., Festinger, 1950, 1954). The work of Moscovici (Moscovici, Lage, & Naffrechoux, 1969) challenged this de®nition by demonstrating that minority factions were also powerful sources of social in¯uence. While Moscovici's (1976) early theoretical work regarding minority impact conceived of social in¯uence as an interactive phenomenon whereby reciprocal in¯uence occurred between minority and majority factions, his early empirical work highlighted a much narrower and less dynamic aspect of the in¯uence process. This work de-emphasized social interaction in that it focused on individual cognitive processes in response to minority-in¯uence exposure. Clearly, these classic experiments played a large role in de®ning the research paradigm adopted by later minority-in¯uence researchers. Although this is slowly changing, the most typical research paradigm used by minority-in¯uence researchers to date focuses upon majority members' cognitive responses (e.g., attitude change, problem-solving ability, thought listing) to an often faceless individual who ostensibly holds a minority opinion regarding the topic at hand and with whom the majority member never interacts (Clark, 1988; Martin & Hewstone, 1999; Mucchi-Faina, Maass, & Volpato, 1991; Paicheler, 1976).