HPR_19_77.pdf 461 KB
Social influence on preference in situations with different levels of importance
importance of the situation
One’s preferences are influenced by another individual’s preferences. The trustworthiness of those individuals can modulate changes in our preferences. Previous studies have examined this social influence in a single situation (e.g., the preference ratings for a T-shirt). Although it is possible that social influence on preference is affected by the importance of the situation, that remains to be elucidated. In the present study, we examined the influence of other individual’s preferences on individual preferences in various important situations. We tested two hypotheses: 1) situations of low importance are more likely to induce one’s own preference than situations of medium and high importance, 2) the influence of a trustworthy individual is larger than that of an untrustworthy individual in situations of low importance, while no difference is found in situations of medium and high importance. Forty-seven participants conducted a two times preference rating task in six situations (two situations for each of the three levels of importance). Preferences for individual characteristics (trustworthy or untrustworthy person) were also presented in the first preference rating task. The results showed that situations of high importance induced a bigger change in preference than situations of low and medium importance. On the other hand, no significant difference in preference change was found between the influence of trustworthy and untrustworthy individuals in each of the three important situations. These results imply that the influence of another individual's preferences on one’s preferences is different in various life situations.