Social vigilantism: Measuring individual differences in belief superiority and resistance to persuasion

Donald A. Saucier, Russell J. Webster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social vigilantism (SV) is an enduring individual difference that assesses the tendency of individuals to impress and propagate their "superior" beliefs onto others to correct others' more "ignorant" opinions. After establishing a reliable measure of SV, three studies showed that SV was associated with greater expressions of belief superiority (whether reacting to others holding dissimilar or similar beliefs) and greater resistance to persuasion (via increased rates of counterarguing and greater attitude stability after persuasion appeals) even after controlling for relevant individual differences (narcissism, dogmatism, psychological reactance, and need for cognition), as well as attitude importance and extremity. Thus, SV predicts expressions of belief superiority and resistance to persuasion above and beyond characteristics of the attitude and individual difference variables previously studied in the attitude literature. SV is a meaningful construct in increasing the understanding of persuasion, attitude resistance, and attitude dissemination that can be applied in a variety of psychological domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-32
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology

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