Does Thinking About the Values of One's Peers Make These Values Seem More Important?
Final rept. Jun 95-Apr 97
ARMY RESEARCH INST FOR THE BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES ALEXANDRIA VA
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This experiment investigated the effect of peer-reference-group salience on the judged importance of specified values using a sample of 143 male and female African-American high school seniors. In half the cases students first judged the importance of these values to themselves and then judged the importance of these values to their friends. In the rest of the cases students first judged the importance of the values to their friends and then judged the importance of the values to themselves. Students who gave their own judgments in second position and thus had a chance to think about these friends and their values before indicating their own judgments gave own judgments that were closer to the judgments they attributed to their friends than did those who gave their own judgments first p less than .001. Students attributed to their friends a level of interest in joining the military that was similar to their own, but the peer-salience variable seemed not to have an effect. An unpredicted finding was that neighborhood socioeconomic status was negatively correlated r equal to -.43 p less than .001 with the absolute difference between own and attributed likelihood of joining the military, although it was uncorrelated ps les than .05 a with the subjects own likelihood of joining, b with the likelihood they attributed to their friends, and c with the arithmetic difference between these two values.