One is not enough: Group size modulates social gaze-induced object desirability effects

Francesca Capozzi, Andrew P. Bayliss, Marco R. Elena, Cristina Becchio

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Affective evaluations of objects are influenced by the preferences expressed by other people via their gaze direction, so that objects looked at are liked more than objects looked away from. But when can others' preferences be trusted? Here, we show that group size influences the extent to which individuals tend to conform to others' gaze preferences. We adopted the conventional gaze-cuing paradigm and modified the design in such a way that some objects were consistently cued by only one face (single-face condition), whereas other objects were consistently cued by several different faces (multiple-faces condition). While response time measures revealed equal gaze-cuing effects for both conditions, a boost in affective evaluation was observed only for objects looked at by several different faces. Objects looked at by a single face were not rated differently than objects looked away from. These findings suggest that observers make use of group size to evaluate the generalizability of the epistemic information conveyed by others' gaze: Objects looked at are liked more than objects looked away from, but only when they are looked at by multiple faces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)850-855
Number of pages6
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number3
Early online date23 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015


  • Gaze cuing
  • Liking
  • Object evaluation
  • Group size
  • Conformity

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