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Is there negative social influence? disentangling effects of dissimilarity and disliking on opinion shifts.

Takacs, K., Flache, A. & Mäs, M., 2014.

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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  • Is there negative social influence?: disentangling effects of dissimilarity and disliking on o

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Empirical studies are inconclusive about the underlying mechanisms that shape the interrelated dynamics of opinions and interpersonal attraction. There is strong evidence that others whom are liked have a positive influence on opinions and similarities induce attraction (homophily). We know less about "negative" mechanisms concerning whether disliked others induce shifts away from consensus (negative influence), whether large differences (dissimilarity) generate distancing, and whether dissimilarities induce disliking (heterophobia). This study tests discriminating hypotheses about the presence of positive and negative mechanisms in controlled experiments involving dyadic interactions. Results confirm the presence of homophily, do not support the existence of negative social influence, and show a robust positive linear relationship between opinion distance and opinion shifts. This implies that contact might provide the largest push towards consensus in case of large initial differences.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Related Datasets
  1. Discrepancy and Disliking Do Not Induce Negative Opinion Shifts

    Flache, A. (Creator), Takacs, K. (Creator), Mäs, M. (Creator), University of Groningen, 2-May-2016

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