On the effectiveness of deviant- and conventional-appearing communicators: A field experiment

Joel Cooper, John M. Darley, James E. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


120 householders heard a counterattitudinal communication on a sales tax vs an income tax from a person who visited their homes. The communication remained constant, but the person delivering it was sometimes conventionally dressed and sometimes deviant in appearance. Dissonance theory predicts that the dissonance aroused by an individual's choosing to listen to a counterattitudinal communication could be reduced by cognitions concerning the communicator's attractiveness if he were conventional in appearance but not if he were deviant. Therefore, the deviant campaigner was expected to effect greater attitude change than was the conventional campaigner. Follow-up interviews with the householders confirm this prediction. (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)752-757
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 1974

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • conventional-appearing communicators, attitude change, householders
  • counterattitudinal communication from deviant- &


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