Analyzing opinion conflicts in an online group discussion: From the perspective of majority and minority influence


Online community and groups often experience heated discussion. This paper examines a WeChat group discussion from the perspective of majority and minority influence to explore the evolvement of the discussion and the be-haviors of group members. Content analysis of 515 messages suggests that opin- ion conflicts between majority and minority evoke discussion engagement and knowledge exchange. There are different patterns of knowledge construction expressions between majority and minority groups. The majority prefer egocentric expression, while the minority prefer allocentric expression. Majority opinion holders have different conflict handling styles compared to minority opinion holders, who are more likely to avoid. Minority group is under great pressure in social interaction, they are easier to receive unfair comments and personal attacks.