Special Session Abstract - S You Are Who You’Re With: the Effects of Social Influence on Affect, Attitudes, and Choice

[ to cite ]:
(1999) ,"Special Session Abstract - S You Are Who You’Re With: the Effects of Social Influence on Affect, Attitudes, and Choice", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 26, eds. Eric J. Arnould and Linda M. Scott, Provo, UT : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 484.

Advances in Consumer Research Volume 26, 1999      Page 484

SPECIAL SESSION ABSTRACT - S

YOU ARE WHO YOU’RE WITH: THE EFFECTS OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE ON AFFECT, ATTITUDES, AND CHOICE

 

"SOCIAL INFLUENCES IN VARIETY SEEKING"

Rebecca K. Ratner, Princeton University

Barbara Kahn, University of Pennsylvania

This research tests a new account for variety-seeking behavior: that is, that individuals choose variety because they expect that high-variety consumption sequences will be evaluated favorably by others. Results indicate that individuals believe they will be evaluated more favorably if they choose a varied set than if they restrict their selections to their favorites. These results suggest that social concerns encourage variety-seeking behavior. We conclude by discussing the importance of incorporating social norms into studies of consumer choice behavior more generally.

 

"HAPPINESS SHARED IS DOUBLED: SOCIAL INFLUENCE ON EXPERIENCED AND REMEMBERED UTILITY"

Kim Corfman, New York University

Rajagopal Raghunathan, New York University

Research suggests that by manipulating certain aspects of a hedonic experience, without changing the cumulative pain or pleasure, remembered utility can be improved, and people influenced to repeat a negative experience they might otherwise have avoided or choose one product or service over another that has the same experienced utility. Research to date has focused exclusively at the individual level. However, many hedonic consumption experiences are shared and are affected by the presence and reactions of others. This research looks at shared experiences and explores the effects of social influence on experienced and remembered utility. We show that when people receive confirmation that others share their reaction to an eperience, they enjoy the experience more and that remembered utility can be improved by confirmation occurring either during the experience or following it.

 

"CONSUMER AGENT SELECTION: SENSITIVITY TO THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RECOMMENDATIONS AND EVALUATIONS"

Andrew Gershoff, University of Texas

Susan Broniarczyk, University of Texas

Patricia West, University of Texas

Consumers’ choices are often influenced by agents, which include other individuals, systems, and organizations, that act on behalf of the consumer. When selecting an agent consumers should consider both the task for which the agent is sought and the appropriate probability of success for the task. For evaluations consumers should select the agent with the greater overall probability of success. For recommendations consumers should select the agent with the greater conditional probability of success for positive predictions. Prior research suggests that consumers have difficulty with the use of conditional probabilities. This may lead to consumer selection of an inferior agent in recommendation seeking and similar agent selection tasks. Three studies were conducted to examine this issue.

 

"ISOLATING REFERENCE AND MEMBERSHIP GROUP INFLUENCE ON ATTITUDES: A NEW COMPUTER-DRIVEN METHODOLOGY"

Joel Cohen, University of Florida

Americus Reed II, University of Florida

We describe a simulated electronic conferencing computer program designed to allow consumer researchers to manipulate important social influence variables. Subjects interact electronically with other participants, but their responses and prompts are pre-programmed. The computer program allows researchers to manipulate factors such as personal background and attitude similarity, response reinforcement and other variables that map on to group cohesiveness, attractiveness, issue salience and related constructs. Further, factors that affect membership group influence can be isolated from traditional reference group issues (e.g., social identification, social comparison) by altering the substantive content of issues under "discussion" within the "group."

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