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Socially motivated projection: Need to belong increases perceived opinion consensus on important issues


Morrison, K R; Matthes, J (2011). Socially motivated projection: Need to belong increases perceived opinion consensus on important issues. European Journal of Social Psychology, 41(6):707-719.

Abstract

In three studies, we tested whether the need to belong would motivate people to perceive consensus for their opinions on important social issues. In Study 1, a nationally representative telephone survey, participants with a high dispositional need to belong perceived greater consensus for their opinions on immigrant naturalization than did those with a low need to belong. However, this relationship was strongest among participants who reported that the issue was personally important to them. In Study 2, participants primed with rejection-related (versus acceptance-related) words, and who reported high levels of issue importance, demonstrated greater false consensus for their opinions on a proposed alcohol tax increase. In Study 3, participants who received random feedback that they held a common (versus uncommon) opinion had a lower subsequent need to belong when the issue was important to them, suggesting that consensus perceptions can in fact mitigate belongingness needs.

Abstract

In three studies, we tested whether the need to belong would motivate people to perceive consensus for their opinions on important social issues. In Study 1, a nationally representative telephone survey, participants with a high dispositional need to belong perceived greater consensus for their opinions on immigrant naturalization than did those with a low need to belong. However, this relationship was strongest among participants who reported that the issue was personally important to them. In Study 2, participants primed with rejection-related (versus acceptance-related) words, and who reported high levels of issue importance, demonstrated greater false consensus for their opinions on a proposed alcohol tax increase. In Study 3, participants who received random feedback that they held a common (versus uncommon) opinion had a lower subsequent need to belong when the issue was important to them, suggesting that consensus perceptions can in fact mitigate belongingness needs.

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13 citations in Web of Science®
15 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Mass Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:18 Jan 2012 12:42
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 10:49
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0046-2772
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.797

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