Is Happiness Shared Doubled and Sadness Shared Halved?: Social Influence on Enjoyment of Hedonic Experiences
Journal of Marketing Research, 2006
31 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2006
Since many hedonic stimuli (e.g., movies, vacations, food, etc.) are consumed with others, it is important to know how social influence affects the enjoyment of shared experiences. Extrapolation from informational and normative influences suggests that enjoyment is enhanced when others offer positive opinions, and diminished when they offer negative opinions about shared stimuli. We propose an alternative model. Building on the need to belong (cf. Baumeister and Leary 1995) and the need for accuracy (cf. Trope 1975), we predict that enjoyment from sharing stimuli depends on consumer's perceived interpersonal agreement about the shared stimuli - with congruence of opinions enhancing, and incongruence diminishing, enjoyment of the shared experience. Results from three experiments support our predictions and indicate that, under some circumstances, social influence can operate in opposite directions on judgments of shared stimuli and on the enjoyment of sharing them.
Keywords: Social Influence, Experienced Utility
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