Has the World Changed? My Neighbor Might Know Effects of Social Context on Routine Deviation

34 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2011

See all articles by Tilmann Betsch

Tilmann Betsch

University of Erfurt

Stefanie Lindow

University of Erfurt - Sozial-, Organisations- und Wirtschaftspsychologie

Christoph Engel

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students; Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Corina Ulshöfer

University of Berne - Institute for Psychology

Janet Kleber

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Date Written: August 1, 2011

Abstract

In two experiments we studied the effects of behavioral models on routine deviation decisions in observers. Participants repeatedly chose among four card-deck lotteries together with a human model (confederate, Exp. 1) or a non-human model (computer, Exp. 2) that made correct decisions in the majority of the trials. In a learning phase, participants acquired a choice routine (preferring one deck over others). In a subsequent test phase, participants had to adapt to changes in the payoff structure that required them to deviate from their routine. We found a strong tendency to maintain the routine despite negative feedback (routine effect). In a social situation (Exp.1), models decrease routine effects more intensely than in non social situations (Exp.2). The process of adaptation follows a belief updating process. Results indicate that the model effect is not due to an increase of the sample of relevant information nor to application of a simply copy heuristic. Rather, deviation models may provide a cue for change that fosters reevaluation of the situation in the observer.

Keywords: Experienced-based decision making, routine, habit, adaptation, social influence, Bayesian updating, novelty

Suggested Citation

Betsch, Tilmann and Lindow, Stefanie and Engel, Christoph and Ulshöfer, Corina and Kleber, Janet, Has the World Changed? My Neighbor Might Know Effects of Social Context on Routine Deviation (August 1, 2011). MPI Collective Goods Preprint, No. 2011/21, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1920296 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1920296

Tilmann Betsch (Contact Author)

University of Erfurt ( email )

Internationales Buro
Nordhaeuser Str. 63
D - 99089 Erfurt
Germany

Stefanie Lindow

University of Erfurt - Sozial-, Organisations- und Wirtschaftspsychologie ( email )

Internationales Buro
Nordhaeuser Str. 63
D - 99089 Erfurt
Germany

Christoph Engel

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany
+049 228 914160 (Phone)
+049 228 9141655 (Fax)

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University of Bonn - Faculty of Law & Economics

Postfach 2220
D-53012 Bonn
Germany

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics, Students ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
PO Box 1738
Rotterdam
Netherlands

Universität Osnabrück - Faculty of Law

Osnabruck, D-49069
Germany

Corina Ulshöfer

University of Berne - Institute for Psychology ( email )

Gesellschaftsstrasse 49
Bern, BERN 3001
Switzerland

Janet Kleber

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

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