Matching choices to avoid offending stigmatized group members

Journal Article (Journal Article)

People (selectors) sometimes make choices both for themselves and for others (recipients). We propose that selectors worry about offending recipients with their choices when recipients are stigmatized group members and options in a choice set differ along a stigma-relevant dimension. Accordingly, selectors are more likely to make the same choices for themselves and stigmatized group member recipients than non-stigmatized group member recipients. We conducted eight studies to study this hypothesis in different choice contexts (food, music, games, books) and with recipients from different stigmatized groups (the obese, Black-Americans, the elderly, students at lower-status schools). We use three different approaches to show that this effect is driven by people's desire to avoid offending stigmatized group members with their choices. Thus, although prior research shows that people often want to avoid being associated with dissociative groups, such as stigmatized groups, we demonstrate that people make the same choices for self and stigmatized other to minimize offense. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Liu, PJ; Campbell, TH; Fitzsimons, GJ; Fitzsimons, GM

Published Date

  • November 1, 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 122 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 291 - 304

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0749-5978

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.obhdp.2013.08.007

Citation Source

  • Scopus