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date: 13 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The aim of the present chapter is to explain the processes through which minority points of view may, or may not, diffuse in society at large. The first section presents the rise in the 1970s of a new stream of research, that of minority influence, and summarizes early conceptions and the initial experimental works that allowed differentiating minority from majority influence. The second part reviews the subsequent criticism to early minority influence research, in particular as regards its differences from majority influence. The third section examines the various models that attempted to reconcile previous controversies, and it organizes the great diversity in results observed over the years in studies on majority and minority influence. The final section points to the liveliness of this area of investigation by reviewing some recent extensions and applications of minority influence research.

Keywords: minorities, conflict, consistency, attitude change, conversion, manifest influence, latent influence, information processing

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