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Pulling the strings: Effects of friend and parent opinions on dating choices

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The current study examined how dating choices are affected when individuals are faced with social network opinions that are in agreement or disagreement about the quality of potential dates. In a virtual dating game paradigm, participants spoke to 2 potential romantic partners online and received positive and/or negative feedback ostensibly from their friend and parent about 1 of the partners. The study employed a 2 (parent opinion: approve, disapprove) × 2 (friend opinion: approve, disapprove) × 2 (interaction partner: evaluated target, control target—within subjects) mixed factorial design. Friend opinion influenced who the participants liked, whereas parental opinion was influential when participants relied on their parent for more resources than their friend. In the end, though, only friend opinion predicted dating choice.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2012


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