What’S Not to Like? Preference Asymmetry in the False Consensus Effect

Prior research has shown that individuals are susceptible to a false consensus effect, which is a tendency to overestimate the percentage of others who share their own opinions. In four studies, we show that the magnitude of the false consensus effect depends on the valence of one’s own opinion, such that overestimation of population consensus is greater when an individual likes an alternative, compared to when he or she dislikes it. Further, we show that this moderation of false consensus is driven by the availability of counter-valence attributes, that is, attributes that are disliked in liked alternatives and attributes that are liked in disliked alternatives. We discuss theoretical implications of these results for interpersonal judgments, as well as practical implications for individuals in daily life.


Andrew Gershoff, Ashesh Mukherjee, and Anirban Mukhopadhyay (2008) ,"What’S Not to Like? Preference Asymmetry in the False Consensus Effect", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 221-224.


Andrew Gershoff, University of Michigan
Ashesh Mukherjee, McGill University, Canada
Anirban Mukhopadhyay, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, China


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35 | 2008

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