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Receiving advice on matters of taste: Similarity, majority influence, and taste discrimination

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  • Yaniv, Ilan
  • Choshen-Hillel, Shoham
  • Milyavsky, Maxim
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    Abstract

    People routinely consider the opinions of others prior to making decisions on matters of taste (e.g., a restaurant or movie). Our theoretical framework highlights the role of two sources, social (majority) influence and similarity among advisors, in such decisions. We suggest that individuals' use of these sources depends on their taste discrimination. While highly discriminating judges seek the opinion of a similar advisor rather than the majority opinion, less discriminating judges do so less. In four studies participants made musical choices based on recommendations. The studies document the great appeal of behavioral similarity and the role of demographic similarity. They also provide evidence for the discrimination hypothesis. A formal simulation is developed to account for the relationship between taste discrimination and the predictive accuracy of the majority and of similar advisors. The results shed light on theories of advice utilization and social influence, and are connected with applications involving personalized recommendation systems.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    Volume (Year): 115 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (May)
    Pages: 111-120

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:115:y:2011:i:1:p:111-120

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp

    Related research

    Keywords: Decision making Advisors Opinions Preferences Similarity Majority influence;

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    1. Richard P. Larrick & Jack B. Soll, 2006. "Intuitions About Combining Opinions: Misappreciation of the Averaging Principle," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(1), pages 111-127, January.
    2. Michael Siegrist & Heinz Gutscher & Timothy C. Earle, 2005. "Perception of risk: the influence of general trust, and general confidence," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 145-156, March.
    3. Richard P. Larrick & Jack B. Soll, 2006. "Erratum--Intuitions About Combining Opinions: Misappreciation of the Averaging Principle," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(2), pages 309-310, February.
    4. Matt Twyman & Nigel Harvey & Clare Harries, 2008. "Trust in motives, trust in competence: Separate factors determining the effectiveness of risk communication," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 3, pages 111-120, January.
    5. Yaniv, Ilan, 2004. "Receiving other people's advice: Influence and benefit," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 1-13, January.
    6. Gino, Francesca & Shang, Jen & Croson, Rachel, 2009. "The impact of information from similar or different advisors on judgment," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 287-302, March.
    7. Burnkrant, Robert E & Cousineau, Alain, 1975. " Informational and Normative Social Influence in Buyer Behavior," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(3), pages 206-15, December.
    8. Andrew Schotter, 2003. "Decision Making with Naive Advice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 196-201, May.
    9. Yates, J. Frank & Price, Paul C. & Lee, Ju-Whei & Ramirez, James, 1996. "Good probabilistic forecasters: The 'consumer's' perspective," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 41-56, March.
    10. Yaniv, Ilan & Kleinberger, Eli, 2000. "Advice Taking in Decision Making: Egocentric Discounting and Reputation Formation," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 260-281, November.
    11. Budescu, David V. & Rantilla, Adrian K. & Yu, Hsiu-Ting & Karelitz, Tzur M., 2003. "The effects of asymmetry among advisors on the aggregation of their opinions," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 178-194, January.
    12. Yaniv, Ilan & Milyavsky, Maxim, 2007. "Using advice from multiple sources to revise and improve judgments," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 104-120, May.
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