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Dissent

Dissent is verbal or nonverbal expression of disagreement with the norms, behaviors, or decisions made by one’s social group (e.g., country, family, sports team). Dissent is a type of deviance, which refers more broadly to violations of a group’s norms. For example, members of the Women’s Suffrage movement of the early 1900s were dissenting against the American norm that only men were allowed to vote in political elections. Although conformity and compliance are essential for effective cooperation and social learning across the life span, dissent and deviance can also enhance groups by promoting creativity, improving decision-making, and addressing harmful group norms. This entry focuses on dissent and briefly summarizes psychological research on how group members react to dissenters, what motivates people to dissent against their ...

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