Social interaction effects in the framing of buying decisions



The reported study is a response to the Kahneman and Tversky (1984; 1988) proposal that systematic examination of alternative framings of decisions offers a useful reflective device that can help decision makers assess the values that should be attached to the primary and secondary consequences of their choices. We investigate the effect of social interaction as a mediator of responses to the theater ticket problems of Tversky and Kahneman (1981). The hypothesis is supported that attending the theater with a friend (social interaction) versus alone reduced the effect of the lost ticket versus the loss of a $10 bill on willingness to spend a second $10 to see the play. A further hypothesis, that social interaction results in a positive main effect on attending the theater after the ticket ($10 bill) loss receives limited support. The results support the views of Payne (1982), Schoemaker (1982), and Bettman, Johnson, and Payne (1991) that context effects influence a decision maker's judgment and, hence, the outcome of the decision process. © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.