Ingroup and outgroup minorities: Differential impact upon public and private responses



The experiment which is presented in this paper was designed to overcome some of the problems associated with previous research investigating the effects of social categorization and minority influence. Sixty-eight fourteen-year-old British Secondary School pupils indicated their attitudes towards a 'grant for pupils' before and after reading a text which advocated a minority position. The text was attributed as being the work of either pupils from their own school (ingroup minority) or from a school they discriminated against (outgroup minority). Responses were either made in ‘public’ (by telling subjects that other pupils would see their responses) or in ‘private’ (by subjects putting their responses into a ‘ballot box’). The results showed that on public responses ingroup minorities had more influence than outgroup minorities while there was no difference on private responses. Also, greater change occurred when responses were made in private than in public. These results are compatible with the intergroup analysis of minority influence.