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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2016 Apr;42(4):430-43. doi: 10.1177/0146167216634043.

Social-Class Differences in Consumer Choices: Working-Class Individuals Are More Sensitive to Choices of Others Than Middle-Class Individuals.

Author information

1
Sogang University, Seoul, Korea jinkyung@sogang.ac.kr.
2
University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, USA.
3
University of Texas at Dallas, USA Center for Vital Longevity, Dallas, TX, USA.

Abstract

The present research shows that, when making choices, working-class Americans are more affected by others' opinions than middle-class Americans due to differences in independent versus interdependent self-construal. Experiment 1 revealed that when working-class Americans made decisions to buy products, they were more influenced by the choices of others than middle-class Americans. In contrast, middle-class Americans were more likely to misremember others' choices to be consistent with their own choices. In other words, working-class Americans adjusted their choices to the preference of others, whereas middle-class Americans distorted others' preferences to fit their choices. Supporting our prediction that this social-class effect is closely linked to the independent versus interdependent self-construal, we showed that the differences in self-construal across cultures qualified the social-class effects on choices (Experiment 2). Moreover, when we experimentally manipulated self-construal in Experiment 3, we found that it mediated the corresponding changes in choices regardless of social class.

KEYWORDS:

choice; culture and self; social class; social influence

PMID:
26984010
DOI:
10.1177/0146167216634043
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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