Sheena Iyengar

Appraising the Unusual: Framing Effects and Moderators of Uniqueness-Seeking and Social Projection

Coauthor(s): Daniel Ames.

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Abstract:
In this paper, we examine how people evaluate unusual objects and how they intuit whether others will like those objects. We focus on two predictions. First, we believe that an object's uniqueness is susceptible to framing by drawing attention toward or away from the object's unusualness. We expect such "uniqueness framing" interacts with needs for uniqueness (NFU): high NFU perceivers will like the same objects (e.g., neckties, names) more when asked to dwell on the object's uniqueness vs. typicality while low NFU perceivers will like them less. Second, we believe that perceived similarity rather than NFU will moderate projection of appraisals onto others. Those who believe they are generally similar to a target group will assume that group shares their evaluations, regardless of NFU. We find evidence for these previously-undocumented framing and moderation effects in two studies. We discuss implications for work on need for uniqueness, uniqueness-seeking, projection, and conformity.

Source: Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Exact Citation:
Ames, Daniel, and Sheena Iyengar. "Appraising the Unusual: Framing Effects and Moderators of Uniqueness-Seeking and Social Projection." Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 41, no. 3 (2005): 271-82.
Volume: 41
Number: 3
Pages: 271-82
Date: 2005