Compromise nearly guaranteed when a woman is involved in decision-making pairs

From Boston College:

Chestnut Hill, MA (July 28th, 2016): More isn’t necessarily better when it comes to men making decisions together, especially if you want a middle-of-the-road compromise. That’s according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research which finds that compromise always occurs among two decision makers when a woman is involved (female-female pairs or mixed gender pairs), but hardly ever when the pair of decision makers are men. The findings could be pertinent to marketers, managers, and consumers alike.

“When men are in the presence of other men, they feel the need to prove their masculinity,” says co-researcher Hristina Nikolova, the Coughlin Sesquicentennial Assistant Professor of Marketing with the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. “Both tend to push away from the compromise option because the compromise option is consistent with feminine norms. On the other hand, extremism is a more masculine trait so that’s why both male partners tend to prefer an extreme option when making decisions together.”

Titled “Men and the Middle: Gender Differences in Dyadic Compromise Effects” and published in the Journal of Consumer Research, the study was co-authored by Cait Lamberton, Associate Professor of Marketing with the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. While previous research has examined the compromise effect – the tendency to choose the middle, compromise option in a choice set- using single individuals, this is the first research examining how joint decision-making contexts change consumers’ preferences for the compromise option.

“The decisions we make in pairs may be very different than those we make alone, depending on who we make them with,” according to the study. “Classic compromise effects, AKA the ‘goldilocks effect’ or ‘extremeness aversion,’ may not emerge in all joint consumption decisions.”

Nikolova and Lamberton conducted four experiments with 1,204 students at two U.S universities, and …

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