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Full-Text Articles in Interpersonal and Small Group Communication

Gettysburg Social Sciences Review Spring 2018 May 2018

Gettysburg Social Sciences Review Spring 2018

Gettysburg Social Sciences Review

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Who Drives Divergence? Identity-Signaling, Outgroup Dissimilarity, And The Abandonment Of Cultural Tastes, Jonah A. Berger, Chip Heath Sep 2008

Who Drives Divergence? Identity-Signaling, Outgroup Dissimilarity, And The Abandonment Of Cultural Tastes, Jonah A. Berger, Chip Heath

Marketing Papers

People often diverge from members of other social groups: They select cultural tastes (e.g., possessions, attitudes, or behaviors) that distinguish them from outsiders and abandon tastes when outsiders adopt them. But while divergence is pervasive, most research on the propagation of culture is based on conformity. Consequently, it is less useful in explaining why people might abandon tastes when others adopt them. The 7 studies described in this article showed that people diverge to avoid signaling undesired identities. A field study, for example, found that undergraduates stopped wearing a particular wristband when members of the “geeky” academically focused dormitory ...