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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2003 Feb;84(2):261-76.

The minority slowness effect: subtle inhibitions in the expression of views not shared by others.

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Life Science Division, University of Toronto at Scarborough, Ontario, Canada.


Five studies revealed that people who hold the minority opinion express that opinion less quickly than people who hold the majority opinion. The difference in speed in the expression of the minority and majority opinions grew as the difference in the size of the minority and majority grew. Also, those with the minority view were particularly slow when they assumed the majority to be large, whereas the opposite was true for those with the majority view. The minority slowness effect was not found to be linked to attitude strength, nor was it influenced by anticipated public disclosure of the attitude. The effect is discussed in the context of implicit conformity pressures and the limited buffering effect of false consensus assumptions.

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