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The persuasive “power” of stigma?

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  • Norton, Michael I.
  • Dunn, Elizabeth W.
  • Carney, Dana R.
  • Ariely, Dan
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    Abstract

    We predicted that able-bodied individuals and White Americans would have a difficult time saying no to persuasive appeals offered by disabled individuals and Black Americans, due to their desire to make such interactions proceed smoothly. In two experiments, we show that members of stigmatized groups have a peculiar kind of persuasive “power” in face-to-face interactions with non-stigmatized individuals. In Experiment 1, wheelchair-bound confederates were more effective in publicly soliciting donations to a range of charities than confederates seated in a regular chair. In Experiment 2, Whites changed their private attitudes more following face-to-face appeals from Black than White confederates, an effect mediated by their increased efforts to appear agreeable by nodding and expressing agreement. This difference was eliminated when impression management concerns were minimized – when participants viewed the appeals on video.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    Volume (Year): 117 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 261-268

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:117:y:2012:i:2:p:261-268

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp

    Related research

    Keywords: Persuasion; Attitudes; Stigma; Interactions; Interracial relations;

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    Cited by:
    1. Liu, Peggy J. & Campbell, Troy H. & Fitzsimons, Gavan J. & Fitzsimons, Gráinne M., 2013. "Matching choices to avoid offending stigmatized group members," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 291-304.

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