Doers Conform, Perceivers Counteract: the Effect of Synchrony on Uniqueness Seeking

Xianchi Dai, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China
Ping Dong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, China
We show that engaging in synchronized (vs. non-synchronized) activities increases preference for conformity but seeing the same activities leads to a decreased preference for conformity. Two processes were proposed to explain the findings: 1) interpersonal synchrony threatens behavioral freedom and thus leads to reactance; 2) engaging in synchronized behavior increases group cohesion and conformity. Two Studies demonstrate that when people engage in synchrony, the second process dominates the first one; greater preference for conformity is shown. Whereas when people only perceive the synchronized behavior, only the first process is present. Thus, seeing such behavior leads to greater preference for uniqueness.
[ to cite ]:
Xianchi Dai and Ping Dong (2011) ,"Doers Conform, Perceivers Counteract: the Effect of Synchrony on Uniqueness Seeking", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 39, eds. Rohini Ahluwalia, Tanya L. Chartrand, and Rebecca K. Ratner, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 737-738.