Minority influence is the impact that minority groups have on majorities, an area relatively unexplored by social scientists until the 1970s. Most prior research addressed the obvious impact that majorities have on the minority. Then French psychologist Serge Moscovici challenged this orthodox approach by reminding psychologists of the enormous power that minority groups sometimes wield. Think of the women's movement, the struggle for racial equality waged by African Americans, Freud's psychoanalytic circle of adherents, Galileo's scientific advances, even the early Christian Church, and the (positive and negative) reactions they stimulated. All these groups or individuals began as feeble minorities, as voices in the wilderness, but over time emerged as powerful forces.

Moscovici maintained that the source of creativity, innovation, and social progress is the minority. He ...

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