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.