Matching choices to avoid offending stigmatized group members
People (selectors) sometimes make choices both for themselves and for others (recipients). We propose that selectors worry about offending recipients with their choices when recipients are stigmatized group members and options in a choice set differ along a stigma-relevant dimension. Accordingly, selectors are more likely to make the same choices for themselves and stigmatized group member recipients than non-stigmatized group member recipients. We conducted eight studies to study this hypothesis in different choice contexts (food, music, games, books) and with recipients from different stigmatized groups (the obese, Black-Americans, the elderly, students at lower-status schools). We use three different approaches to show that this effect is driven by people’s desire to avoid offending stigmatized group members with their choices. Thus, although prior research shows that people often want to avoid being associated with dissociative groups, such as stigmatized groups, we demonstrate that people make the same choices for self and stigmatized other to minimize offense.
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Volume (Year): 122 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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