Repetition Legitimizes: Consistent Behavior as a Signal of Reliability, Trustworthiness, and Competence

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Appearing consistent across time is a strong motive guiding individual behavior, but why do consistent appearances matter so much to people? Across three studies, we show that people strategically behave more consistently in public to signal their reliability, trustworthiness, and competence. These signals lead to positive social outcomes like increased cooperation and power to persuade others.

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