虚拟群体中的少数派影响:四种少数派影响理论的对比

 

网络讨论群体中少数派如何影响多数派的意见,在本研究所验证的四种理论中,加倍少数效应(a double minority effect)在线上虚拟社区中并未得到证实,根据该效应的预测,一个群体外部的少数意见持有者会被认定是“外人”而受到群体的排斥,因此其意见将是没有影像里的。本研究的结果显示并非如此,一个外部少数派意见持有者所坚持的意见会在多数派成员的后期讨论和决策过程中起到十分重要的作用。

本研究考察了虚拟群体内部少数派的影响力,以及群体成员的地理分布和讨论的一致性是如何影响群体决策的。在线互动领域中,有好几个可应用、但是都没有得到过正式的理论能够得出完全不同的预测结果,例如加倍少数效应(a double minority effect)、黑绵羊效应(the black sheep effect)、应用于群体的一致性理论(congruity theory applied to groups)、少数派宽容合约框架(minority leniency contract framework)等。本文的“少数派成员对多数派成员的影响”的研究成果较好地证明了黑绵羊效应、一致性理论和少数派宽容取向,决定因素是少数派意见持有者的位置和他们理论的意志程度。

Minority Influence in Virtual Groups: A Comparison of Four Theories of Minority Influence

Natalya N. Bazarova1
Joseph B. Walther2
Poppy L. McLeod1


1Cornell University
2Michigan State University
Natalya N. Bazarova, 318 Kennedy Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 Email: nnb8@cornell.edu
Read more from Communication Reserach

Abstract



This study examined minority influence within virtual groups and how members’ geographic dispersion and argument consistency affect group decisions. Competing predictions were derived from several theories that were applicable but untested in the domain of online interaction: a double minority effect, the black sheep effect, congruity theory applied to groups, and the minority leniency contract framework. Online groups were created that had 4 collocated members or 4 geographically distributed members, or 2 collocated and 2 isolated members. Group members were provided biased distributions of information resembling a hidden profile to facilitate majority and minority positions resulting in 24 groups with a minority opinion holder geographically isolated or in proximity with one or more other members. The patterns of minority members’ influence on majority members’ decisions lent greatest support to the black sheep effect, congruity, and minority leniency approaches, depending on the respective location of the minority opinion holders and the consistency with which they argued their positions.


Double Minority
A double minority perspective illustrates how a group member whose opinion differs from others may be disregarded if that member is seen as different than other members in some additional important respect.


Hypothesis 1: A consistent position by a geographically isolated minority opinion holder is less influential than a consistent position by a geographically collocated minority.


Congruence
Based on Newcomb’s (1961) congruence theory, Phillips argued that group members expect others who are categorically similar to themselves to have similar opinions and information and expect those who are different from themselves to hold different information and ideas.


Hypothesis 2: A consistent position by a geographically isolated minority opinion holder is more influential than a consistent position by a geographically collocated minority


Black Sheep Effect
Another approach to opinion heterogeneity among in-group members—the “black sheep” effect—illustrates how an established social category may be rethought after a group has encountered a deviant opinion within the group and how it in turn affects minority influence in a group....One school of thought holds that, within an in-group, an individual whose position
differs from others will be worse than uninfluential.


Hypothesis 3: A consistent position by a geographically collocated minority opinion holder has a negative influence on the majority’s individual and group decisions.


Minority Leniency Contract
Crano (2001) developed an alternative perspective with respect to minority opinion and social identification called the “minority leniency contract model.” Crano acknowledged that in-group members ignore out-group members who hold minority opinions (consistent with the double minority effect) and that if an in-group member strongly deviates from the majority’s opinion, he or she will be reclassified as an out-group member, derogated as such, and be uninfluential (as in the black sheep effect).


Hypothesis 4: An inconsistent position by a geographically collocated minority opinion holder is more influential than (a) a collocated argument-consistent minority, or (b) a distant minority.

文章下载:Minority Influence in Virtual Groups_A Comparison of Four Theories of Minority I


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