Socially motivated projection: Need to belong increases perceived opinion consensus on important issues
Article first published online: 14 MAR 2011
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 41, Issue 6, pages 707–719, October 2011
How to Cite
Morrison, K. R. and Matthes, J. (2011), Socially motivated projection: Need to belong increases perceived opinion consensus on important issues. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 41: 707–719. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.797
- Issue published online: 16 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 14 MAR 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 4 FEB 2010
- Manuscript Received: 2 JAN 2010
In three studies, we tested whether the need to belong would motivate people to perceive consensus for their opinions on important social issues. In Study 1, a nationally representative telephone survey, participants with a high dispositional need to belong perceived greater consensus for their opinions on immigrant naturalization than did those with a low need to belong. However, this relationship was strongest among participants who reported that the issue was personally important to them. In Study 2, participants primed with rejection-related (versus acceptance-related) words, and who reported high levels of issue importance, demonstrated greater false consensus for their opinions on a proposed alcohol tax increase. In Study 3, participants who received random feedback that they held a common (versus uncommon) opinion had a lower subsequent need to belong when the issue was important to them, suggesting that consensus perceptions can in fact mitigate belongingness needs. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.