Inferences of Interpersonal Preference Similarity Based on Unrelated Product Categories

Valeria Noguti, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Jack Soll, Duke University
We present a phenomenon we call similarity extrapolation – the psychological transfer of similarity in preferences between self and others from a specific, yet arbitrary, domain to unrelated domains. We show people are insensitive to domain, i.e., people extrapolate similarity to the same extent from one domain to extremely different domains, even when similarity information is clearly selected from sets likely to contain disconfirming evidence. Moreover, our data support categorical inference as an explanatory mechanism for similarity extrapolation. We conclude with implications for agent decision-making, gift-giving, brand extensions, and online recommendations such as “People who bought this also bought that.”
[ to cite ]:
Valeria Noguti and Jack Soll (2008) ,"Inferences of Interpersonal Preference Similarity Based on Unrelated Product Categories", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 801-802.