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Abstract

In a 2 × 2 factorial design, 165 high school girls gave their opinions about abortion (direct influence) and about contraception (indirect ifluence) after reading a message advocating abortion said to have been written by either an ingroup (same sex) or an outgroup (opposite sex) minority and explicitly opposed by the majority opinion of either the ingroup or the outgroup. Results show that there is less direct influence when the ingroup majority is opposed to the minority, and more direct influence when the process of identification is less involved. Indirect influence appears in an intergroup context where categorization of majority and minority into different groups is superimposed on their ideological dissent, which has the effect of allowing recognition of the minority's distinctiveness and validity over and above the discrimination that appears at the direct influence level. In discussing the results, a theoretical integration of social comparison and validation processes is proposed as a step towards explaining the diversity of minority influence phenomena.