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Abstract

The bargaining and minority influence literatures offer contradictory theories for the efficacy of compromise for influence. Assuming that the relative merits of these two classes of theories lie in their concentration on the public versus the private aspect of influence, we predicted that consistency (without compromise) would be more effective for attitude change but that compromise would be more effective for public concessions. We further predicted that the timing or context of the compromise could change the meaning and the consequences of that strategy. In particular, compromise ‘at the last minute’ was assumed to be a negotiating tactic that fostered both public concessions and private attitude change. The predictions were generally confirmed.