Conditional Projection: How Own Evaluations Impact Beliefs about Others Whose Choices Are Known

66 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2011 Last revised: 11 Jul 2012

See all articles by A. Yesim Orhun

A. Yesim Orhun

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Oleg Urminsky

University of Chicago Booth School

Date Written: April 10, 2012

Abstract

We study how a person’s evaluation of choice options influences her estimates of other people’s evaluations when their choices are known. People rely on the relation between their own evaluations and their final decision to make sense of others, projecting their evaluations of the corresponding options. A person’s liking of the option she chose between two alternatives influences her estimates of others’ liking of the option they chose, regardless of whether it matches her own choice. Likewise, her evaluation of the option she rejected affects her estimate of others’ evaluations of the option they rejected. Across four studies, we provide evidence of conditional projection in political and consumer decisions, using across-people differences in ratings of choice options, within-person changes in ratings, as well as manipulated differences in participants’ ratings. We demonstrate that existing accounts of projection would not directly predict our findings, and rule out other alternative explanations.

Keywords: Beliefs, Projection, False Consensus

Suggested Citation

Orhun, A. Yesim and Urminsky, Oleg, Conditional Projection: How Own Evaluations Impact Beliefs about Others Whose Choices Are Known (April 10, 2012). Ross School of Business Paper No. 1166. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1937623 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1937623

A. Yesim Orhun (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

Oleg Urminsky

University of Chicago Booth School ( email )

5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://home.uchicago.edu/ourminsky/

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