Perceived persuasiveness as a function of response style: Multi‐issue consistency over time

Vernon L. Allen, David A. Wilder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This experiment studied the effect of an individual's response style on different issues over a long period of time. A hypothetical situation depicted the repeated responses given by one person on a target issue and on four other issues for one year. The 2 × 2 × 2 factorial design varied consistency of the stimulus person's position on the target issue during the year (consistent or variable); his consistency on other issues during the year (consistent or variable); and social context (alone or dissenting group). Subjects were 155 college students. Results showed an interaction between consistency on the target issue and consistency on other issues for the three dependent measures (p < .001). That is, significantly greater persuasiveness, confidence, and dis‐positional causality were attributed to stimulus persons whose opinions were either completely consistent or completely variable on all issues during the year. Results suggest that the consistency of response style across issues—and not the constant advocacy of a specific position–is the crucial factor in the effectiveness of a long‐term minority influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-296
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1978

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology


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