- Strength in numbers or less is more? A matter of opinion and a question of taste
- Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
- Volume | Issue number
- 35 | 8
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Theory and research on attitudes and opinions assume that people generally prefer a state where their preferences are shared by the majority of relevant others. Other research points to the value that distinctiveness, or being in a minority, can have for both groups and individuals. The authors propose that a relatively neglected factor here concerns the nature of the preference, namely, whether the preference is a matter of opinion or a question of taste. The authors argue that different processes play a role in each of these cases, with the result that people like a majority to share their opinion but prefer to be part of a minority in matters of taste. Results of three experiments support this prediction and show that shared opinions reflect the perceived power of others' support, whereas shared tastes reflect distinctiveness from others.
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