Exposure to Dissent and Recall of Information

Charlan Nemeth, Ofra Mayseless, Jeffrey Sherman, Yvonne Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Recent work on minority influence has led to a debate about whether majorities and minorities exercise different forms of influence. Nemeth (1986) has argued that consistent minorities induce different cognitive processes than do consistent majorities, with a resulting impact on the quality of the judgments rendered. Two experiments test this theory. In Experiment 1, Ss heard 3 tape-recorded lists of words and learned that either a minority or a majority differed in the category "first noticed." This feedback occurred either once or over 3 trials. When exposure was once, recall was not affected by the source; when it was consistent, Ss exposed to the minority view recalled more words than those exposed to the majority view. In Experiment 2, Ss were exposed to a minority view that was either consistent over time or inconsistent over time. Ss exposed to a consistent minority had better recall than control Ss. Exposure to an inconsistent minority did not improve recall. The results offer support for the Nemeth (1986) formulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-437
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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