1st Edition

Minority Influence and Innovation
Antecedents, Processes and Consequences

ISBN 9780415650175
Published October 18, 2012 by Psychology Press
424 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations

USD $59.95

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Book Description

Social groups form an important part of our daily lives. Within these groups pressures exist which encourage the individual to comply with the group’s viewpoint. This influence, which creates social conformity, is known as ‘majority influence’ and is the dominant process of social control. However, there also exists a ‘minority influence’, which emerges from a small subsection of the group and is a dynamic force for social change.

Minority Influence and Innovation seeks to identify the conditions under which minority influence can prevail, to change established norms, stimulate original thinking and help us to see the world in new ways.

With chapters written by a range of expert contributors, areas of discussion include:

  • processes and theoretical issues
  • the factors which affect majority and minority influence
  • interactions between majority and minority group members

This book offers a thorough evaluation of the most important current developments within this field and presents consideration of the issues that will be at the forefront of future research. As such it will be of interest to theorists and practitioners working in social psychology.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Introduction. R. Martin, M. Hewstone, Introduction: Theory and Research on Minority Influence. Part 2. Processes and Theoretical Issues. A. Quiamzade, G. Mugny, J.M. Falomir-Pichastor, F. Butera, The Complexity of Majority and Minority Influence Processes. W.D. Crano, Majority and Minority Influence in Attitude Formation and Attitude Change: Context/Categorization-Leniency Contract Theory. H.P. Erb, G. Bohner, Consensus as the Key: Towards Parsimony in Explaining Majority and Minority Influence. Z.L. Tormala, R.E. Petty, V.L. DeSensi, Multiple Roles for Minority Sources in Persuasion and Resistance. Part 3. Factors Affecting Majority and Minority Influence. A. Mucchi-Faina, Ambivalence and Social Influence. A. Gardikiotis, R. Martin, M. Hewstone, The Impact of Source Consensus on Majority and Minority Influence. R. Martin, M. Hewstone, P.Y. Martin, Consequences of Attitudes Changed by Majority and Minority Influence. W. Stroebe, Majority and Minority Influence and Information Processing: A Theoretical and Methodological Analysis. Part 4. Dynamic Interplay Between Majority and Minority Factions. J.M. Levine, H.S. Choi, Newcomers as Change Agents: Minority Influence in Task Groups. C.M. Smith, R.S. Tindale, Direct and Indirect Minority Influence in Groups. R. Prislin, Dynamics of Change: Minority Influence Makes the World Go Around. F. Aime, L. Van Dyne, Bringing Social Structure to Both Sides of An Issue: How Proximal and Distal Ties Interact with Minority and Majority Positions to Affect Influence in Workgroups. A.W. Richter, C.A. Sacramento, M.A. West, Dissent Within and Among Groups in Organizations: Lessons for Group Empowerment and Organizational Innovation. Part 5. Epilogue. M. Hewstone, R. Martin, Minority Influence: From Groups to Attitudes and Back Again.

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Robin Martin is Professor of Social and Organisational Psychology at Aston University.


Miles Hewstone is Professor of Social Psychology and Fellow of New College, Oxford University.


"This book is a gem. The chapters are of an extremely high quality, and Martin and Hewstone have done a wonderful job of ensuring that this is not just a collection of high-quality papers on current advances, but a coherent, integrated, and highly compelling treatise on the state of the art. It was a joy to read, a fascinating story and an engaging, balanced account of both classic and contemporary work. I would recommend it both to students seeking a inclusive introduction to the fascinating study of minority influence, and to seasoned scholars wanting an in-depth and critical coverage of current issues." - Richard Crisp, Centre for the Study of Group Processes,University of Kent, UK, in The Psychologist

"Minorities have influence as well as majorities, and the story of how they relate to each other is a complex and fascinating one, told with breadth and precision by the fine array of researchers contributing to this volume. If this eloquent book is widely read, as it deserves to be, it will contribute to a social psychology that is more balanced, sophisticated and just: We will see people not only as conformists but as creators and innovators." – Bert H. Hodges, Gordon College, Massachusetts

"This is a wonderful book joining the recent chorus on the power and value of dissent. In contrast to the portrait of minorities as vulnerable or obstructive, this book collectively recognizes their persuasive power. With contributions from international scholars, the book effectively shows the range and complexity of methods used by minorities to exercise their influence, and provides both an historical account as well as a range of theories. It is a welcome addition to the field and should inspire both research and its application. Bravo." - Charlan Jeanne Nemeth, University of California, Berkeley

"To prosper, groups, organizations and societies all need social change, creativity, and innovation. Herein lies the primary function of minority influence, as aptly shown by Robin Martin and Miles Hewstone and their outstanding group of authors. With classic and contemporary perspectives being presented alongside, this scholarly volume is a must read for anyone interested in social influence in groups and societies at large." - Carsten K.W. De Dreu, Professor of Psychology, University of Amsterdam. President, European Association for Social Psychology