The Persuasive Appeal of Stigma
53 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2007
Date Written: June 2007
Stigmatized minorities may have an advantage in persuading majority group members during some face-to-face interactions due to the greater self-presentational demands such interactions elicit. In contrast to models which predict greater persuasive impact of members of ingroups, White participants were more convinced by persuasive appeals delivered by a Black interaction partner than by a White interaction partner. When interacting with a Black partner, Whites engaged in greater self-presentation, which in turn made them more susceptible to their partner's persuasive appeal (Studies 1 and 2). This persuasive benefit of stigma was eliminated when participants were exposed to the same partners making the same arguments on video, decreasing self-presentational demands (Study 2). We conclude by discussing when stigma is likely to facilitate versus impair persuasion.
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