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Informational Influence

Definition

Informational influence refers to new information or arguments provided in a group discussion that change a group member's attitudes, beliefs, or behavior. Informational influence is likely to be stronger when a person is uncertain about the correct interpretation of reality and/or the correct behavior in a given context and therefore looks to other group members for guidance.

History and Usage

The concept of informational influence was originally proposed by Morton Deutsch and Harold B. Gerard, who were trying to understand why group members holding a minority view tended to adopt the group majority's view. They argued that there were two ways that groups can affect individuals. Deutsch and Gerard sought to clarify earlier research that failed to distinguish between these two ways and the related types of ...

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