The Persuasive Appeal of Stigma

53 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2007

See all articles by Elizabeth W. Dunn

Elizabeth W. Dunn

University of British Columbia - Department of Psychology

Dana Rose Carney

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Michael I. Norton

Harvard Business School - Marketing Unit

Dan Ariely

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business

Date Written: June 2007

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Dunn, Elizabeth W. and Carney, Dana Rose and Norton, Michael I. and Ariely, Dan, The Persuasive Appeal of Stigma (June 2007). HBS Marketing Research Paper No. 07-013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=996424 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.996424

Elizabeth W. Dunn

University of British Columbia - Department of Psychology ( email )

2329 West Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia BC V6T 1Z4
Canada

Dana Rose Carney

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Michael I. Norton (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School - Marketing Unit ( email )

Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Dan Ariely

Duke University - Fuqua School of Business ( email )

Box 90120
Durham, NC 27708-0120
United States
(919) 381-4366 (Phone)

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