Decision-makers use social information to update their preferences—but choose for others as they do for themselves

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Description: People’s risky decisions can be highly influenced by the social context in which they take place. Across three experiments we investigated the influence of three social factors upon participants’ decisions: the recipient of the decision-making outcome (self, other, or joint), the nature of the relationship with the other agent (friend, stranger, or teammate), and the type of information that participants received about others’ preferences: none at all, information about how previous participants had decided, or information about a partner’s preference. We found that participants’ decisions about risk did not differ according to whether the outcome at stake was their own, another agent’s, or a joint outcome, nor according to the type of information available. Participants were, however, willing to adjust their preferences for risky options in light of social information.

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  • Decision Making for Others 2018


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