The present research investigates the moderating role of goal interdependence and dissent on individual preference confirmation in hidden-profile tasks. We propose that preference confirmation can be used strategically to deal with competition and dissent likely to arise in group decision making. In two studies, participants first received incomplete information about a car accident investigation, and then read a fictitious discussion with two other participants containing full information. The interaction with the fictitious participants was presented either as cooperative or competitive. We predicted and found preference confirmation to be higher in competition than cooperation, when initial preferences were dissenting (Studies 1 & 2), but to be higher in cooperation than in competition, when initial preferences were consensual (Study 2). Also, the increased versus decreased preference confirmation in competition with, respectively, dissent and no dissent were found to be predicted by self-enhancement strategies (Study 2). These findings contribute to a better understanding of the boundary conditions of preference confirmation in hidden profiles and shed a new light on the role of motivated information processing in these tasks.
Toma, C., Gilles, I., & Butera, F. (2013). Strategic use of preference confirmation in group decision making: The role of competition and dissent. British Journal of Social Psychology, 52(1), 44-63. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8309.2011.02037.x