Antecedent conditions of pluralistic ignorance: An experimental investigation on preference estimation and normative behavior

[Speaker] Iwatani, Shuma:1
[Co-author] Muramoto, Yukiko:1

This study aimed to examine the antecedent conditions of pluralistic ignorance. Participants entered a laboratory in groups of five and were asked to taste and evaluate two kinds of water in rotation. All participants were led to believe that they were in the fourth turn and the first three participants made a higher evaluation to the worse-tasting water (Water1) than the better-tasting water (Water2). They were also told that, after they made evaluations, the fifth participant made a lower evaluation to Water1 than Water2. As we predicted, the more participants believed that the third participant personally preferred Water2, the more they tended to conform to the majority and highly evaluate Water1, because they perceived a social norm to be followed. They tended to appreciate the ability of the fifth participant who deviated from the norm, though. A process of maintaining social norms as pluralistic ignorance will be discussed.
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