Predicting choice behavior of group members
SourceFrontiers in Psychology, 11, (2020), article 508
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC CO
Frontiers in Psychology
SubjectAction, intention, and motor control
Meaningful social interactions rest upon our ability to accurately infer and predict other people's preferences. Ireferen doing so, we can separate two sources of information: knowledge we have about the particular individual (individual knowledge) and knowledge we have about the social group to which that individual belongs (categorical knowledge). However, it is yet unclear how these two types of knowledge contribute to making predictions about other people's choice behavior. To fill this gap, we had participants learn probabilistic preferences by predicting object choices of agents with and without a common logo printed on their shirt. The logo thereby served as a visual cue to increase perceptions of groupness. We quantified how similar predictions for a specific agent are relative to the objective individual-level preferences of that agent and how close these predictions are relative to the objective group-level preferences to which that agent belongs. We found that the logo influenced how close participants' predictions were to the individual-level preferences of an agent relative to the preferences of the group the agent belongs to. We interpret this pattern of results as indicative of a differential weighting of individual and categorical group knowledge when making predictions about individuals that are perceived as forming a social group. The results are interpreted in an assimilation account of categorization and stress the importance of group knowledge during daily social interactions.
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