Skip to main content

Conformity in Groups: The Effects of Others’ Views on Expressed Attitudes and Attitude Change

Abstract

Two experiments demonstrate the powerful influence of others’ views on individual attitudes and attitude expression. Those around us can influence our views through persuasion and information exchange, but the current research hypothesizes that exposure to alternate views even without discussion or exchange of persuasive arguments can also alter what attitudes are expressed, and even generate long term shifts in attitudes. In an initial study, naïve participants were asked their attitudes on a range of standard survey items privately, publicly in a group with trained confederates, and again privately following the group setting. Findings indicate significant attitudinal conformity, which was most pronounced when participants were faced with a unanimous (versus non-unanimous) group. The group experience continued to influence participants’ views when they were again asked their views in private. A second experiment varied whether participants heard views from live confederates or via computer, demonstrating that these effects could not be attributed only to issue-relevant information provided by or inferred from group members, and that attitude change persisted long after participants had left the laboratory. In summary, when people are asked their attitudes publicly, they adjust their responses to conform to those around them, and this attitude change persists privately, even weeks later. Accordingly, such purely social processes of attitude change may be every bit as important as more traditional cognitive informational processes in understanding where people’s political attitudes come from, and how they may be changed.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

Notes

  1. 1.

    Although researchers use the term “conformity” in various ways, it generally indicates a continuum such that individuals may be more conforming or nonconforming (see Willis 1963; Nail and MacDonald 2007). “Movement toward an influence source is the most prominent operational definition of conformity in the literature…” (Nail and MacDonald 2007, p. 195). Thus, we use “conformity” to mean a shift in expressed attitudes to be closer to (but not necessarily identical to) the views of others. This is especially appropriate for views in groups, in that individuals in groups rarely hold identical views, making being identical to a group operationally unclear.

  2. 2.

    Note that we do not hypothesize that later private attitudes will be exactly the same as attitudes expressed in the group, only that they will be more like those of the group than initial private attitudes had been.

  3. 3.

    Informational influence may, of course, also play a role, and will be held constant in tests of normative influence.

  4. 4.

    The results of both studies are presented in order to demonstrate a basic finding and an extension, and to demonstrate the reliability and robustness of these results, in accordance with the recommendations of King (1995).

  5. 5.

    For those who are less familiar, the within-subjects design is an experimental design in which a participant experiences more than one experimental condition (see, e.g., Keppel and Wickens (2004) for further discussion). Counterbalancing is employed for maximum internal validity. It enables causal conclusions, and is particularly valued in fields like medicine and psychology because each participant serves as their own control group, enabling greater power and efficiency than a between-subjects design. Within-subjects designs are especially well suited to circumstances when: (1) individual differences are expected to be large enough to obscure treatment effects by generating large within-group variability, or (2) trials are quite brief (as in our study), making it more efficient to have a participant take part in several different trials, rather than having multiple participants take part in only one brief trial apiece. In this study, there is an additional benefit: if participants were assigned to only one condition across attitudes, hearing their group members responding the same way on every trial would undoubtedly generate unnecessary suspicion.

  6. 6.

    Suspicious participants questioned the naivety of the confederates, and a few mentioned group influence or verbal conformity. No participants guessed that we were examining persistent or private attitude change. Related research suggests that demand effects make attitudes less prone to our predicted social influences because of concern about appearing weak-willed to the experimenter (Deutsch and Gerard, 1955), minimizing concerns about demand effects.

  7. 7.

    Attesting to the robustness of these results, t tests confirm that participants’ attitudes became more like the group attitudes to which they were randomly assigned (whether liberal or conservative).

  8. 8.

    Dependent variables included those already discussed, and a three category variable (move toward, stay, move away). Interpretation was substantively similar across dependent variable codings (Online Resource, Appendix F).

  9. 9.

    Due to the multi-stage responses of participants, nested logit models and conditional logistic regression models were also estimated. These models reduce to a multinomial logistic regression as a result of the structure of this data. The multinomial results closely resemble presented results (Online Resource, Appendix F) because too few participants polarized away from the group to provide additional leverage. Parallel logistic regression models were also run to examine subsequent responses contingent on behavior in the group. Again, results did not change substantively (Appendix F). Multilevel modeling proved untenable due to the cross-nesting of within-participant observations across times and conditions, and the need to use the outcome at time 1 to condition the effects in later stages.

  10. 10.

    Predicted probabilities throughout the paper were calculated based on the relevant logistic regressions, holding all other variables at the mean. Discussion of change of predicted probability indicates that the probability changed by the number of percentage points indicated.

  11. 11.

    Throughout, we individually tested the interactions between our covariates (party id, sophistication, and attitude strength) and our key variables of unanimity and distance. We had no a priori hypotheses about such interactions. All were non-significant, except where noted. Here, we found a marginal interaction between unanimity and political sophistication (p < .1), replicated in two of four subsequent analyses (Online Resource, Appendix E).

  12. 12.

    The term “sleeper effect”, coined by Hovland et al (1949), refers to a delayed attitude change, although it is sometimes used to refer to one theoretical explanation thereof (see Cook et al 1979; Kumkale and AlbarracÌn 2004).

  13. 13.

    A scripted group discussion also took place for ½ of study 2 participants to test orthogonal hypotheses. This took place after participants’ reported their attitudes in the group, and therefore after conformity was assessed. Somewhat unexpectedly, this had no 1st or 2nd order effects on any of the results discussed herein.

  14. 14.

    Given the nesting of responses within individuals and issues, we cluster the responses within participants. As noted by Gelman and Hill (2007), multi-way clustering is not an option due to perfect nesting, making clustering by the participant the more conservative test of the null hypothesis. Parameter estimates do not change as a function of clustering choice (by issue or item). Analyses of individual issues provide the same basic pattern of results, although with less power, so results presented here are collapsed across issues.

  15. 15.

    Here, the effect of unanimity was qualified by an unexpected significant sophistication by unanimity interaction, such that the buffering effect of sophistication against social influence was reduced under conditions of unanimity (see Appendix E). Attitudinal distance and party id also interacted significantly, b = 2.44, SE = 0.67, p < .001, but this interaction did not replicate in study 1 or in other study 2 analyses, and so is believed to be a statistical anomaly.

  16. 16.

    Sophistication again unexpectedly interacted with unanimity such that sophistication was less of a buffer against attitude change in unanimous groups than non-unanimous groups (Online Resource, Appendix E).

  17. 17.

    As expected, participants who took longer to complete the follow-up exhibited less long term attitude change. These effects are not fleeting, but may slowly diminish over time, as participants’ everyday circumstances and social networks exert their own pressures (e.g. Huckfeldt et al 2004a). As noted by a helpful reviewer, this finding also rules out a regression to the mean account, in that the strength of movement toward the group changes over time. Since the mean remains constant, it must be our experimental procedures that generate this change.

  18. 18.

    Two significant interactions (unanimity by strength, b = 2.15, SE = 0.85, p = .01, and distance by attitude strength, b = − 3.18, SE = 1.48, p = .03) did not replicate in any preceding analysis, and are probably statistical anomalies.

References

  1. Ahn, T., Huckfeldt, R., Mayer, A. K., & Ryan, J. B. (2013). Expertise and bias in political communication networks. American Journal of Political Science, 57(2), 357–373.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Ahn, T. K., Huckfeldt, R., & Ryan, J. B. (2010). Communication, influence, and informational asymmetries among voters. Political Psychology, 31(5), 763–787.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Asch, S. E. (1951). Effects of group pressure upon the modification and distortion of judgments. In H. Guetzkow (Ed.), Group leadership and men (pp. 177–190). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie.

  4. Asch, S. E. (1956). Studies of independence and conformity: I. A minority of one against a unanimous majority. Psychological Monographs, 70(9), 70.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497–529.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Bello, J., & Rolfe, M. (2014). Is influence mightier than selection? Forging agreement in political discussion networks during a campaign. Social Networks, 36, 134–146.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Bem, D. (1972). Self perception theory. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 6, pp. 1–62). New York: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Bond & Smith. (1996). Culture and conformity: A meta-analysis of studies using Asch’s (1952b, 1956) line judgment task. Psychological Bulletin, 119(1), 111–137.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Boninger, D. S., Krosnick, J. A., & Berent, M. K. (1995). Origins of attitude importance: Self-interest, social identification, and value relevance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68, 61–61.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Burt, R. S. (1987). Social contagion and innovation: Cohesion versus structural equivalence. American Journal of Sociology, 92, 1287–1335.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Carmines, E. G., & Stimson, J. A. (1980). The two faces of issue voting. American Political Science Review, 74(1), 78–91.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Cialdini, R. B. (1995). Principles and techniques of social influence. Advanced social psychology, 256, 281.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Cialdini, R. B., Kallgren, C. A., & Reno, R. R. (1991). A focus theory of normative conduct: A theoretical refinement and reevaluation of the role of norms in human behavior. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 24, 201–234.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Converse, Philip E. (1964). The nature of belief systems in mass publics. In David E. Apter (Ed.), Ideology and discontent (pp. 206–261). New York: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Cook, T. D., Gruder, C. L., Hennigan, K. M., & Flay, B. R. (1979). History of the sleeper effect: Some logical pitfalls in accepting the null hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin, 86(4), 662.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Cooper, J. (2007). Cognitive dissonance: 50 years of a classic theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  17. Deutsch, M., & Gerard, H. B. (1955). A study of normative and informational social influences upon individual judgment. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 51, 629–636.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. DeWall, C. N., Visser, P. S., & Levitan, L. C. (2006). Openness to attitude change as a function of temporal perspective. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32(8), 1010–1023.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Eagly, A. H. (1983). Gender and social influence: A social psychological analysis. American Psychologist, 38(9), 971.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Feldman, S. (2003). Enforcing social conformity: A theory of authoritarianism. Political Psychology, 24(1), 41–74.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Festinger, L. (1954). A theory of social comparison processes. Human Relations, 7, 117–140.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Evanston, IL: Row, Peterson.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Fishkin, J. S. (1991). Democracy and deliberation: New directions for democratic reform (Vol. 217). New Haven: Yale University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Gelman, A., & Hill, J. (2007). Data analysis using regression and multilevel/hierarchical models. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Gerber, A. S., Green, D. P., & Larimer, C. W. (2008). Social pressure and voter turnout: Evidence from a large-scale field experiment. American Political Science Review, 102(01), 33–48.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Granberg, D., & Bartels, B. (2005). On being a lone dissenter. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 35(9), 1849.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Hardin, C. D., & Higgins, E. T. (1996). Shared reality: How social verification makes the subjective objective. In R. M. Sorrentino & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Handbook of motivation and cognition: The interpersonal context (pp. 28–84). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

  28. Heider, F. (1946). Attitudes and cognitive organization. Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, 21, 107–112.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Henig, J. (2008). Born in the U.S.A.: The truth about Obama’s birth certificate. http://factcheck.org/2008/08/born-in-the-usa/. Accessed May 1, 2012.

  30. Hovland, C. I., Lumsdaine, A. A., & Sheffield, F. D. (1949). Experiments on mass communication. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Huckfeldt, R., Johnson, P. E., & Sprague, J. (2004a). Political disagreement: The survival of diverse opinions within communication networks. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  32. Huckfeldt, R., Mendez, J. M., & Osborn, T. (2004b). Disagreement, ambivalence, and engagement: the political consequences of heterogeneous networks. Political Psychology, 25(1), 65–95.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Huckfeldt, R., & Sprague, J. (1987). Networks in context: The social flow of political information. The American Political Science Review, 81, 1197–1216.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Huckfeldt, R., & Sprague, J. (2000). Political consequences of inconsistency: the accessibility and stability of abortion attitudes. Political Psychology, 21(1), 57–79.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Huddy, L. (2004). Contrasting theoretical approaches to intergroup relations. Political Psychology, 25(6), 947–967.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Janis, I. L. (1982). Groupthink: Psychological studies of policy decisions and fiascoes (2nd ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin

    Google Scholar 

  37. Jost, J. T., Glaser, J., Kruglanski, A. W., & Sulloway, F. J. (2003). Political conservatism as motivated social cognition. Psychological Bulletin, 129(3), 339.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Katz, D. (1960). The functional approach to the study of attitudes. Public Opinion Quarterly, 24(2), 163–204.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Kelley, H. (1952). Two functions of reference groups. In G. E. Swanson, T. M. Newcomb, & E. L. Hartley (Eds.), Readings in social psychology (2nd ed., pp. 410–414). New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Kelman, H. (1958). Compliance, identification, and internalization: Three processes of attitude change. The Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2(1), 699–711.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Kelman, H. (1961). Processes of opinion change. Public Opinion Quarterly, 25(1), 57–78.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Kelman, H. C., & Hamilton, V. L. (1989). Crimes of obedience: Toward a social psychology of authority and responsibility. New Haven: Yale University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Keppel, G., & Wickens, T. D. (2004). Design and analysis: A researcher’s handbook. New York: Pearson

    Google Scholar 

  44. King, G. (1995). Replication, replication. PS. Political Science and Politics, 28(3), 444–452.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Klofstad, C. A., Sokhey, A. E., & McClurg, S. D. (2013). Disagreeing about disagreement: How conflict in social networks affects political behavior. American Journal of Political Science, 57(1), 120–134.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Krosnick, J. A., & Petty, R. E. (1995). Attitude strength: An overview. In R. E. Petty & J. A. Krosnick (Eds.), Attitude strength: Antecedents and consequences (pp. 1–24). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  47. Kumkale, G. T., & AlbarracÌn, D. (2004). The sleeper effect in persuasion: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 130(1), 143–172.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Kunda, Z. (1990). The case for motivated reasoning. Psychological Bulletin, 108(3), 480–498.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Latane, B. (1981). The psychology of social impact. American Psychologist, 36(4), 343.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Laumann, E. O. (1973). Bonds of pluralism: form and substance of urban social networks. New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Lavine, H., Lodge, M., & Freitas, K. (2005). Threat, authoritarianism, and selective exposure to information. Political Psychology, 26(2), 219–244.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Levitan, L. C., & Visser, P. S. (2008). The impact of the social context on resistance to persuasion: Effortful versus effortless responses to counter-attitudinal information. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44(3), 640–649.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Levitan, L. C., & Visser, P. S. (2009). Social network composition and attitude strength: Exploring the dynamics within newly formed social networks. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(5), 1057–1067.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Levitan, L., & Wronski, J. (2014). Social context and information seeking: examining the effects of network attitudinal composition on engagement with political information. Political Behavior, 36, 793–816.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Malcolm, A. (2008). Barack Obama’s birth certificate revealed here. http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/06/obama-birth.html. Accessed May 1, 2012.

  56. McClurg, S. D. (2006). The electoral relevance of political talk: Examining disagreement and expertise effects in social networks on political participation. American Journal of Political Science, 50(3), 737–754.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. Mussweiler, T. (2003). Comparison processes in social judgment: Mechanisms and consequences. Psychological Review, 110(3), 472.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Mutz, D. C. (1998). Impersonal influence: How perceptions of mass collectives affect political attitudes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  59. Mutz, D. C. (2002a). The consequences of cross-cutting networks for political participation. American Journal of Political Science, 46(4), 838–855.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. Mutz, D. C. (2002b). Cross-cutting social networks: Testing democratic theory in practice. American Political Science Review, 96(01), 111–126.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Mutz, D. (2006). Hearing the other side: deliberative versus participatory democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  62. Mutz, D. C., & Martin, P. S. (2001). Facilitating communication across lines of political difference: The role of mass media. American Political Science Review, 95(1), 97–114.

    Google Scholar 

  63. Mutz, D. C., & Mondak, J. J. (2006). The workplace as a context for cross-cutting political discourse. The Journal of Politics, 68(1), 140–155.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  64. Myers, D. G., & Lamm, H. (1976). The group polarization phenomenon. Psychological Bulletin, 83(4), 602.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  65. Nail, P. R., & MacDonald, G. (2007). On the development of the social response context model. The Science of Social Influence: Advances and Future Progress (pp. 193–221). New York: Psychology Press.

  66. Nemeth, C., & Chiles, C. (1988). Modelling courage: The role of dissent in fostering independence. European Journal of Social Psychology, 18(3), 275–280.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Noelle-Neumann, E. (1974). The spiral of silence a theory of public opinion. Journal of Communication, 24, 43–51.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Panagopoulos, C. (2010). Affect, social pressure and prosocial motivation: Field experimental evidence of the mobilizing effects of pride, shame and publicizing voting behavior. Political Behavior, 32(3), 369–386.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1986). The elaboration likelihood model of persuasion. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 19, 123–205.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Petty, R. E., & Krosnick, J. A. (1995). Attitude strength: Antecedents and consequences. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  71. Prentice, D., & Miller, D. (1993). Pluralistic ignorance and alcohol use on campus: Some consequences of misperceiving the social norm. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64(2), 243–256.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  72. Priester, J. R., & Petty, R. E. (2001). Extending the bases of subjective attitudinal ambivalence: Interpersonal and intrapersonal antecedents of evaluative tension. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80(1), 19–34.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  73. Public Policy Poling. (2012). Split decision for super Tuesday. http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2011/PPP_Release_SuperTuesday_305.pdf. Accessed May 1, 2012.

  74. Putnam, R. (2000). Bowling alone: America’s declining social capital. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  75. Redlawsk, D. (2002). Hot cognition or cool consideration? Testing the effects of motivated reasoning on political decision making. The Journal of Politics, 64(04), 1021–1044.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  76. Redlawsk, D. P., Civettini, A. J., & Emmerson, K. M. (2010). The affective tipping point: do motivated reasoners ever “get it”? Political Psychology, 31(4), 563–593.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  77. Redlawsk, D., & Lau, R. (2013). Behavioral Decision-making. Oxford Handbook of Political psychology. New York: Oxford University Press

  78. Roese, N. J., & Olson, J. M. (1994). Attitude importance as a function of repeated attitude expression. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 30, 39–51.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  79. Ross, L., Bierbrauer, G., & Hoffman, S. (1976). The role of attribution processes in conformity and dissent: Revisiting the Asch situation. American Psychologist, 2, 148–157.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  80. Ryan, J. B. (2011). Social networks as a shortcut to correct voting. American Journal of Political Science, 55(4), 753–766.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  81. Schachter, S. (1951). Deviation, rejection, and communication. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 46, 190–207.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  82. Sears, D. O. (1986). College sophomores in the laboratory: Influences of a narrow data base on social psychology’s view of human nature. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(3), 515–530.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  83. Shavitt, S. E., & Brock, T. C. (1994). Persuasion: Psychological insights and perspectives. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

    Google Scholar 

  84. Sherif, M. (1936). The psychology of social norms. New York: Harper & Row.

    Google Scholar 

  85. Sinclair, B. (2012). The social citizen: Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

  86. Smith, M. B., Bruner, J. S., & White, R. W. (1956). Opinions and personality. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

    Google Scholar 

  87. Taber, C., & Lodge, M. (2006). Motivated skepticism in the evaluation of political beliefs. American Journal of Political Science, 50(3), 755–769.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  88. Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1986). The social identity theory of intergroup behavior. In S. Worchel & W. G. Austin (Eds.), Psychology of intergroup relations (2nd ed., pp. 7–24.). Chicago: Nelson-Hall Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  89. Tetlock, P. E., Peterson, R. S., McGuire, C., Chang, S.-J., & Feld, P. (1992). Assessing political group dynamics: A test of the groupthink model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63(3), 403.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  90. Todorov, A., & Mandisodza, A. N. (2004). Public opinion on foreign policy the multilateral public that perceives itself as unilateral. Public Opinion Quarterly, 68(3), 323–348.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  91. Ulbig, S. G., & Funk, C. L. (1999). Conflict avoidance and political participation. Political Behavior, 21(3), 265–282.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  92. Visser, P. S., & Mirabile, R. R. (2004). Attitudes in the social context: the impact of social network composition on individual-level attitude strength. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(6), 779–795.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  93. Willis, R. H. (1963). Two dimensions of conformity-nonconformity. Sociometry, 26(4), 499–513.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  94. Wood, W. (2000). Attitude change: Persuasion and social influence. Annual Review of Psychology, 51(1), 539–570.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  95. Zaller, J. (1992). The nature and origins of mass opinion. New York, NY: Cambridge.

    Book  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the editors and several anonymous reviewers who have contributed thoughtful comments. We would particularly like to thank Stanley Feldman and Joel Simmons for their comments and advice on earlier drafts of this manuscript. We would also like to thank our colleagues at Stony Brook University for their helpful input. Perhaps most importantly, we would like to thank the research assistants who worked behind the scenes to make this research possible: Natasha Beckford, Michael Cohan, Jordan Cushner, Christopher Horn, Natalie Mercedes, Angelo Monforte, James O’Donnell, Jason Rose, Daniel Shapiro, and Tiffany Yip. Earlier drafts of this paper were presented at annual meetings of the American Political Science Association, the Midwestern Political Science Association, and the International Society for Political Psychology.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Lindsey C. Levitan.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 41 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Levitan, L.C., Verhulst, B. Conformity in Groups: The Effects of Others’ Views on Expressed Attitudes and Attitude Change. Polit Behav 38, 277–315 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11109-015-9312-x

Download citation

Keywords

  • Social influence
  • Political attitudes
  • Group processes