Hesitation in communication : does minority status delay responses?

Victoria Wai Lan YEUNG, Ivy Yee Man LAU, Chi Yue CHIU

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations

Abstract

Past studies indicated that people in a minority (vs. majority) position are slower to express their public/political opinion, and the larger the difference between the size of the two positions, the slower the response. Bassili termed this the minority- slowness effect (MSE). In the current study, two experiments were conducted to demonstrate that MSE extends to people's understanding of utterances and explored the cognitive basis for this. Participants were asked to judge if an utterance is a ` direct' or an ` indirect' expression. The results show that participants in the minority (vs. majority) took longer to respond, and the larger the difference between the size of majority and minority, the longer the response latency (Study 1a). Furthermore, participants were aware of their own minority position (Study 1b). In Study 2, when participants were deprived of cognitive resources, MSE disappeared, presumably because participants lack the cognitive resources required to conform to utterance interpretation as favoured by the majority.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-248
Number of pages11
JournalAsian Journal of Social Psychology
Volume16
Issue number3
Early online date18 Jun 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

Fingerprint

Public Opinion
Reaction Time
Communication
minority
communication
political opinion
resources
public opinion
interpretation
lack
experiment

Keywords

  • comprehension
  • inhibition process
  • minority‐slowness effect
  • utterance directness

Cite this

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title = "Hesitation in communication : does minority status delay responses?",
abstract = "Past studies indicated that people in a minority (vs. majority) position are slower to express their public/political opinion, and the larger the difference between the size of the two positions, the slower the response. Bassili termed this the minority- slowness effect (MSE). In the current study, two experiments were conducted to demonstrate that MSE extends to people's understanding of utterances and explored the cognitive basis for this. Participants were asked to judge if an utterance is a ` direct' or an ` indirect' expression. The results show that participants in the minority (vs. majority) took longer to respond, and the larger the difference between the size of majority and minority, the longer the response latency (Study 1a). Furthermore, participants were aware of their own minority position (Study 1b). In Study 2, when participants were deprived of cognitive resources, MSE disappeared, presumably because participants lack the cognitive resources required to conform to utterance interpretation as favoured by the majority.",
keywords = "comprehension, inhibition process, minority‐slowness effect, utterance directness",
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Hesitation in communication : does minority status delay responses? / YEUNG, Victoria Wai Lan; LAU, Ivy Yee Man; CHIU, Chi Yue.

In: Asian Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 16, No. 3, 09.2013, p. 238-248.

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)Researchpeer-review

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T1 - Hesitation in communication : does minority status delay responses?

AU - YEUNG, Victoria Wai Lan

AU - LAU, Ivy Yee Man

AU - CHIU, Chi Yue

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N2 - Past studies indicated that people in a minority (vs. majority) position are slower to express their public/political opinion, and the larger the difference between the size of the two positions, the slower the response. Bassili termed this the minority- slowness effect (MSE). In the current study, two experiments were conducted to demonstrate that MSE extends to people's understanding of utterances and explored the cognitive basis for this. Participants were asked to judge if an utterance is a ` direct' or an ` indirect' expression. The results show that participants in the minority (vs. majority) took longer to respond, and the larger the difference between the size of majority and minority, the longer the response latency (Study 1a). Furthermore, participants were aware of their own minority position (Study 1b). In Study 2, when participants were deprived of cognitive resources, MSE disappeared, presumably because participants lack the cognitive resources required to conform to utterance interpretation as favoured by the majority.

AB - Past studies indicated that people in a minority (vs. majority) position are slower to express their public/political opinion, and the larger the difference between the size of the two positions, the slower the response. Bassili termed this the minority- slowness effect (MSE). In the current study, two experiments were conducted to demonstrate that MSE extends to people's understanding of utterances and explored the cognitive basis for this. Participants were asked to judge if an utterance is a ` direct' or an ` indirect' expression. The results show that participants in the minority (vs. majority) took longer to respond, and the larger the difference between the size of majority and minority, the longer the response latency (Study 1a). Furthermore, participants were aware of their own minority position (Study 1b). In Study 2, when participants were deprived of cognitive resources, MSE disappeared, presumably because participants lack the cognitive resources required to conform to utterance interpretation as favoured by the majority.

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