The consistency principle in interpersonal communication: consequences of preference confirmation and disconfirmation in collective decision making.
Mojzisch A., Kerschreiter R., Faulmüller N., Vogelgesang F., Schulz-Hardt S.
Interpersonal cognitive consistency is a driving force in group behavior. In this article, we propose a new model of interpersonal cognitive consistency in collective decision making. Building on ideas from the mutual enhancement model (Wittenbaum, Hubbell, & Zuckerman, 1999), we argue that group members evaluate one another more positively when they mention information confirming each other's preferences instead of information disconfirming these preferences. Furthermore, we argue that this effect is mediated by perceived information quality: Group members evaluate one another more positively when they mention information confirming each other's preferences because they perceive this information to be more important and accurate than information disconfirming each other's preferences. Finally, we hypothesize that group members who communicate information confirming each other's preferences receive positive feedback for doing so, which, in turn, leads group members to mention even more of this information. The results of 3 studies with pseudo and face-to-face interacting dyads provide converging support for our model.