It seems intuitive that we would be inclined to make choices based upon how much others may agree with that choice. However, according to a study by HP Labs, we may change a choice not based on the fact that more people agree with us, but that fewer do!

The power of public opinion influences our daily decisions, from shopping to voting. HP's Social Computing and Research Group wanted to find out just how much those opinions can influence our decisions.

What the study found was that if a large number of people hold an opinion contrary to your own, you will be more likely to cling even stronger to your conviction. But if a smaller number of key influencers provide a contrary opinion, one might be more likely to take another look at the situation and be more open to change.

In other words, a smaller amount of social leverage could produce a greater effect than a much larger group's pressure. This is important as marketers analyze communication strategies. According to this study, your efforts will be more effective if you have a smaller but more influential group espousing your merits instead of trying to overwhelm a market.