Social Comparison, Aspirations and Priming: When Fiction is as Powerful as Fact
This study uses a novel application of priming to provide experimental evidence that aspirations and social comparisons may be influenced by non factual sources. A textual narrative eliciting social comparison is shown to dramatically alter material aspirations. This is despite the narrative not presenting any new information, relying instead on participants' existing knowledge. However the effect of the priming rapidly dissipates when attention is redirected to unrelated tasks. These findings build on literature examining the influence of media, social comparison and aspirations on well-being. The findings build support for the claim that media exposure may distort perceptions of status with implications for satisfaction, education attainment and risk preferences. It also demonstrates that at least in the short run, preferences in general and aspirations in particular are highly suggestible.
|Date of creation:||Jan 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: 61 +2 9351 5055
Fax: 61 +2 9351 4341
Web page: http://sydney.edu.au/arts/economics
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Stutzer, Alois, 2004.
"The role of income aspirations in individual happiness,"
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 89-109, May.
- Alois Stutzer, . "The Role of Income Aspirations in Individual Happiness," IEW - Working Papers 124, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- L. J. Shrum & James E. Burroughs & Aric Rindfleisch, 2005. "Television's Cultivation of Material Values," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(3), pages 473-479, December.
- Carmit Segal, 2006. "Motivation, test scores and economic success," Economics Working Papers 1124, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Oct 2008.
- Daniel Zizzo, 2010. "Experimenter demand effects in economic experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 75-98, March.
- Michael Shields & Stephen Wheatley Price & Mark Wooden, 2009. "Life satisfaction and the economic and social characteristics of neighbourhoods," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 421-443, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:syd:wpaper:2123/8091. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Vanessa Holcombe)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.