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The pull of deviant opinions: The influence of group members with deviant opinions Lyn M. Van Swol, Emily Acosta-Lewis, & Giovanna Dimperio.

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Presentation on theme: "The pull of deviant opinions: The influence of group members with deviant opinions Lyn M. Van Swol, Emily Acosta-Lewis, & Giovanna Dimperio."— Presentation transcript:

1 The pull of deviant opinions: The influence of group members with deviant opinions Lyn M. Van Swol, Emily Acosta-Lewis, & Giovanna Dimperio

2 Social Judgment Schemes Davis (1996)-identify functions or decision schemes that can predict how group member preferences are combined into the group decision for responses on a continuum Bonner, Gonzalez, and Sommer (2004, p. 157) state, “Although there is a rich literature dealing with categorical group decision modeling, far less is known about continuous group judgments.” Allows a more complex dynamic between minority/majority, as more compromise is possible

3 Social Judgment Schemes- results Social influence function: “decaying exponential function of the distance between the positions of the group members.” (Hinsz, 1999, p. 39) Support for social influence function (Bonner, et al., 2004 ;Davis, Zarnoth, Hulbert, Chen, Parks, & Nam, 1997; Ohtsubo, Masuchi, & Nakanishi, 2002) Exception with unanimity rule (Ohtsubo, Miller, Hayashi, & Masuchi, 2004) Will the social influence function fit a judgmental task involving a controversial issue?

4 Deviant members More extreme Greater participation (Van Swol, 2009) Greater confidence ( Eagly & Chaiken, 1993; Judd & Brauer, 1995; Krosnick, Boninger, Chuang, Berent, & Carnot, 1993; Miller & Tesser, 1986; Sunstein, 2003 We expect deviant members to have more, rather than less, influence than other members in the group and do not expect the social influence function to fit the data.

5 Method Participants (Males = 63, Females = 167) 29 four person groups, 21 five person groups, and 3 three person groups Flag and use of US citizens Read Procon.org and rated opinion and confidence Met as group and came to consensus (no decision rule) Asked to say pledge according to group decision Rated opinion individual again

6 Procon.org PRO: Many advocates of including "under God" in the Pledge point out that polls show at least 80% of Americans support it, that federal law already contains 22 references to "God," and that Presidents swear an oath of office ending with "so help me God." CON: Many advocates of removing "under God" point out that the phrase was not written into the original pledge and that the opposition to returning to the original pledge is proof that "under God" is a religious symbol and not merely a secular practice.

7 Scale 1 I completely oppose the words “under God” appearing in the US Pledge of Allegiance Unsure, maybe they should be in the US Pledge of Allegiance I completely support the words “under God” appearing in the US Pledge of Allegiance.

8 Social Judgment Schemes Social judgment scheme Deviation score t value p value (scheme prediction – group) Mean of members’ opinion * Median of opinion * Majority mean; group mean otherwise Majority mean; neutral otherwise Neutral Faction-attraction * Neutraltwice * Devianttwice * Extremetwice * Socialcomp Socialcomp Davis’ social influence

9 Deviant members Confidence in opinion Percentage of participation F(1,223) = 9.59, η 2 = 0.04, p =.002γ 10 = -0.04, SE = 0.02, t(216) = -2.09, p =.04

10 Deviant members The most discrepant members were more likely (32%) to have used the extreme ends of the scale (1 or 9) than the other members (11%), F(1,223) = 15.31, η 2 = 0.06, p <.0001 Rated the issue as more important, F(1,223) = 5.99, η 2 = 0.03, p =.015.

11 Residual Influence [ (Group opinion – pre-group mean) * (Individual opinion – pre-group mean)]/ pre- group mean With this measure, higher positive numbers indicate more influence. How much the group opinion moves away from this standard (pre-group mean) in the direction of an individual member’s opinion γ 10 = 0.34, SE = 0.11, t(214) = 3.22, p =.001

12 Residual Influence

13 Effects on residual influence No effect of confidence on residual influence, γ 10 = -0.08, SE = 0.07, t(219) = -1.19, p =.23; nor an interaction with discrepancy (most deviant member vs. other members), γ 10 = 0.05, SE = 0.08, t(219) = 0.62, p =.54. For percentage of participation, no effect of participation on residual influence, γ 10 = 0.61, SE = 0.52, t(214) = 1.17, p =.24; nor an interaction with discrepancy (most deviant member vs. other members), γ 10 = -0.79, SE = 0.60, t(214) = -1.32, p =.19.

14 Post discussion opinion How often the most discrepant member was unwilling to say the pledge the same as the rest of the group (15% of the time) compared to other members (1%), γ 10 = 0.13, SE = 0.13, t(144.54) = 1.04, p =.30 The most deviant members were more likely to have moved towards the group opinion than other members, γ 10 = 0.56, SE = 0.17, t(177.08) = -3.19, p =.002.

15 Conclusions *The social influence function did not fit the data *The most deviant members had significantly more influence *The most deviant members behaved differently *Still, no significant relationship between confidence/participation and influence *Compromise- group moves towards deviant member, but deviant member moves significantly towards group opinion

16 Thoughts/future research Difference between dichotomous and continuous task for the influence of deviant/minority group members Different tasks and social judgment schemes The influence of religion and politics in this task- may have increased inclusiveness/compromise towards middle


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