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Science. 2009 Mar 20;323(5921):1617-9. doi: 10.1126/science.1166632.

The surprising power of neighborly advice.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. gilbert@wjh.harvard.edu

Abstract

Two experiments revealed that (i) people can more accurately predict their affective reactions to a future event when they know how a neighbor in their social network reacted to the event than when they know about the event itself and (ii) people do not believe this. Undergraduates made more accurate predictions about their affective reactions to a 5-minute speed date (n = 25) and to a peer evaluation (n = 88) when they knew only how another undergraduate had reacted to these events than when they had information about the events themselves. Both participants and independent judges mistakenly believed that predictions based on information about the event would be more accurate than predictions based on information about how another person had reacted to it.

PMID:
19299622
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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