Torn between me and us: On the moderating effects of group identity on interpersonal
Citti, Danette L.
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Traditionally studies in conformity have persistently found that people conform to group attitudes and judgments (Asch, 1951; Newcomb, 1966; Deutch & Gerard, 1955). Some have even suggested that prior to conforming, participants in these studies experience some discomfort. These feelings maybe characterized as feelings of subjective ambivalence that people experience as they recognize a discrepancy between their own attitude and that of people important to them (Priester & Petty, 2001). Since people are motivated to reduce subjective ambivalence (Hodson, Maio, and Esses, 2001), this study investigated the possibility that conformity is one strategy that people use to reduce feelings of subjective ambivalence. In this study, participants were exposed to consensus information that either supported or opposed their own views toward an issue concerning Texas Tech students. As predicted, being in the minority increased subjective ambivalence and subjective ambivalence destabilized attitudes. Counter to predictions, being in the minority did not destabilize attitudes.