Effects of valence in decision making

Noh, Zamira and Goddard, Paul (2014) Effects of valence in decision making. In: Psychology, Sociology and Politics Research Conference, 26th June 2014, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Poster)
Item Status:Live Archive


Background/Aim:- A study of voting decisions in The Weakest Link TV game show has shown the contestants tend to avoid their nearest neighbours (Goddard, Hylton, Parke & Noh, 2013), presumably this is because the vote carries negative connotations. Therefore, the aim of this study was to test whether vote valence affects voting behaviour in other voting scenarios. Procedure:- Participants were undergraduate Psychology students (n=233) attending an orientation lecture during their first induction week. A unique seat number was assigned and once seated, participants were given a response sheet, with a seating plan of the lecture, and instructed to cast a vote for someone else in the lecture theatre by placing an ‘X’ on the seating plan. Vote valence varied (-5,-1,0,+1, +5) according to how many ‘vouchers’ were to be added/subtracted in an ensuing lottery for course related ‘prizes’. Result/Discussion:- Participants significantly avoided voting for their nearest neighbour when their vote carried a negative weight, However, those making a positive valence vote, showed an opposite pattern whereby, they were more likely to pick their nearest neighbour. We suggest that for our participants the ‘fairness norm’ was stronger in negative valence voters compared to positive valence voters (Leliveld, Beest, Dijk & Tenbrunsel, 2009). Hence, ‘valence’ and the ‘neighbour effect’ are robust biasing elements in decision making probably operating at an unconscious, implicit level.

Keywords:Decision-making, Neighbour Effect, Valence Effect, Weakest Link
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
L Social studies > L110 Applied Economics
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:20167
Deposited On:31 Jan 2016 15:43

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