Reasoning About Diverse Evidence in Preference Predictions


People often incorporate the opinions of others to make predictions about the world, including their preferences for novel experiences and items. In two experiments, we explored how people use the opinions of dissimilar others in making such predictions. While social cognition research has found that similar others tend to influence our judgments more than dissimilar others, the diversity principle from category-based induction argues that we value evidence from diverse sources. Our results suggest that people seek and use information from dissimilar others differently when predicting their own preferences than when making predictions with more verifiable values. For self-relevant predictions, participants were less likely to seek the opinion of dissimilar advisors (Experiment 1) and more likely to contrast their judgments away from these advisors' opinions (Experiment 2).

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