Mere Membership in Racially Diverse Groups Reduces Conformity


Journal Article

© The Author(s) 2017. Three studies assessed the impact of White individuals’ mere membership in racially diverse or homogeneous groups on conformity. In Study 1, White participants were randomly assigned to four-person groups that were racially diverse or homogeneous in which three confederates routinely endorsed clearly inferior college applicants for admission. Participants in diverse groups were significantly less likely to conform than those in homogeneous groups. Study 2 replicated these results using an online conformity paradigm, thereby isolating the effects of racial group composition from concomitant social cues in face-to-face settings. Study 3 presented a third condition—a diverse group that included one other White member. Individuals conformed less in both types of diverse groups as compared with the homogeneous group. Evidence suggests this was because Whites in homogeneous (vs. diverse) settings were more likely to reconsider their original decision after learning how other group members responded.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gaither, SE; Apfelbaum, EP; Birnbaum, HJ; Babbitt, LG; Sommers, SR

Published Date

  • May 1, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 402 - 410

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1948-5514

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1948-5506

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/1948550617708013

Citation Source

  • Scopus