Motivational Effects in the Social Comparison of Opinions
AbstractFour experiments were executed to test the effects of different epistemic motivations on subjects' tendency to compare with agreeing or disagreeing others. We found that under high (vs. low) fear of invalidity, subjects tend more to compare with disagreeing (vs. agreeing) others. By contrast, under high (vs. low) need for self-confirmation or a high (vs. low) need for cognitive structure, subjects tended more to compare with agreeing others. These results are discussed in reference to social comparison formulations ( ; ) and the theory of lay epistemology ( ; ).