Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Sinclair, H. Colleen

Committee Member

Giesen, J. Martin

Committee Member

McMillen, Robert

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Experimental Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Psychology


I examined whether expressing minority opinions enhances self-concept clarity and whether need for uniqueness (NfU) moderates this predicted relationship. I used an experimental survey with a 2 (Pre-existing Position: opposed, in favor) × 2 (Majority Position: opposed, in favor) × 2 (Participant Action: resist, conform) design. Participants identified themselves as primarily for or against granting legal rights to homosexuals and completed an NfU measure. Participants were then randomly assigned to read that the majority of MSU students either oppose or support granting legal rights to homosexuals. After reading arguments consistent with the majority position, participants were asked to offer arguments that either supported or refuted the majority. Contrary to hypotheses, arguing the minority position did not enhance self-concept clarity. Anti-gay rights participants were higher in self-concept clarity than pro-gay rights participants, and they became even higher in self-concept clarity when arguing with an opposed majority than when arguing against one.



gay rights||attitude change||prejudice||norm resistance||nonconformity||conformity