Stefan Schulz-Hardt, Annika Giersiepen, and Andreas Mojzisch (2016)

Preference-consistent information repetitions during discussion: Do they affect subsequent judgments and decisions?

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 64:41-49.

During discussions, people typically introduce more information supporting their preferences as compared to information conflicting with these preferences, and they also repeat the former information more often than the latter. Although this preference-consistent discussion bias has been shown across several studies, its consequences for subsequent decisions have largely escaped attention. In particular, it is unclear whether selectively repeating preference-consistent information increases the likelihood that the recipient decides in accordance with the speaker's preference. From a rational point of view, information repetitions constitute redundancy and, hence, should not affect the recipient's decision. By contrast, in two experiments we demonstrate that selectively repeating information in favor of a particular decision alternative changes preference ratings in favor of this alternative (Experiment 1) and makes a decision for this alternative more likely (Experiment 2). This result is shown for written discussion protocols (Experiment 1) and for face-to-face discussions with a confederate (Experiment 2).

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