REACTIONS TO THE GROUP SPOKESMAN AS INFLUENCED BY HIS PERCEIVED COMPETENCE, SOURCE OF AUTHORITY, AND TASK SUCCESS.
STATE UNIV OF NEW YORK BUFFALO DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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136 MEN FROM THE AFROTC met as members and spokesmen in 4-person discussion groups. These groups were distributed in a 2x2x2 factorial design, which varied the perceived competence, source of authority, and success of the spokesman. As hypothesized, reactions to the spokesman differed as a function of all three factors, with the more competent and successful spokesman endorsed more strongly than the less competent and unsuccessful spokesman. The spokesmans source of authority, whether elected or appointed, interacted with both perceived competence and success to determine member endorsement. In addition, the elected spokesman was perceived somewhat more positively than the appointed spokesman. These results point to the important effects of legitimizing mechanisms in shaping group member willingness to support the leader in his role as spokesman for the group. Author