2015 Volume 31 Issue 2 Pages 101-111
The present study aimed to examine the antecedent conditions of pluralistic ignorance and its consequences, especially on individuals’ micro processes. Japanese college students participated in a laboratory experiment and met their partners in another room, these actually being confederates. They were asked to do some choice tasks regarding their preferences of gummy candy flavors. Next, they were led to believe that their partners made choices identical to theirs, and estimated the partners’ preferences. They were then asked to choose one flavor as a reward for themselves and their partners, and to evaluate their preferences again. The result suggested a process of the occurrence and consequences of pluralistic ignorance as follows: (1) People tend to see the choices made by others as reflections of their preferences, even when their own identical choices are made to eliminate dislikable alternatives. (2) They tend to take action as group members to meet others’ preferences, even when those are different from their own preferences. (3) When confronted with the inconsistency between their actions and preferences, people are motivated to justify their actions by changing their preferences.