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Social influence and threat in confrontations between competent peers

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Published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2009, vol. 97, no. 4, p. 652-666
Abstract Five studies investigated social influence processes in confrontations between competent peers and showed a default absence of influence of a competent source on an equally competent target. This default lack of influence is attributed to the representation that competent targets give to the influence encounter, in which different answers from competent peers are incompatible, the error of the source thus being the sine qua non condition of targets' correctness. However, an influence appeared when the representation of the task was modified via a decentring procedure (Study 1), even when controlling for alternative explanations (Study 2). Study 3 demonstrated that this liberating effect of decentring did not appear when the source was incompetent. Study 4 also examined social comparison processes and showed that independence of judgments produced the same liberating effect as decentring. Finally, Study 5 showed that the default lack of influence in confrontations between competent peers is due to the presence of a threat to the self. Indeed, the reduction of threat through a procedure of self-affirmation modified the representation of the task and allowed influence to appear.
Keywords CompetenceConflictSocial comparisonSocial influenceDecentring
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Other version: http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/97/4/652/
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QUIAMZADE, Alain, MUGNY, Gabriel. Social influence and threat in confrontations between competent peers. In: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2009, vol. 97, n° 4, p. 652-666. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:4007

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Deposited on : 2009-11-10

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