People often sacrifice a better experience and choose a less enjoyable experience if it means they can do so alongside a loved one—whether that be a romantic partner, close friend, or relative. This is the main discovery Our research Posted in Journal of Consumer Psychology in April 2023.
For example, when taking a flight, two friends might decide to sit in adjacent seats on a bus rather than accept a free upgrade to non-adjacent seats in first class. Failure to choose teamwork can have consequences, as in “Seinfeld where Elaine suffers the indignities of economy class, resulting in a rage against Jerry after he chooses to accept a promotion.
We conducted five studies in a variety of settings that featured different social connections, including friendships and romantic relationships. In one study, more than half of people chose two adjacent seats further from the stage over two non-adjacent seats closer to the stage when imagining they were attending a Cirque du Soleil show with a close friend, compared to only about a third who chose adjacent seats when imagining attending with an acquaintance.
In another study, we asked students if they wanted to eat a single chocolate bar with another person—whether a new friend or a stranger—or a chocolate bar alone. Half of the people chose the shared experience—but only if the other person was a friend. Fewer people – 38% – chose the shared experience if the other person was a stranger.
One of the reasons people prioritize physical proximity with close partners is because they want to create shared memories. Most importantly, people believe that physical distance can disrupt the formation of shared memories, and thus forgo pleasurable experiences apart from their loved one.
This is also important for companies seeking to improve the customer experience, such as an airline offering free upgrades or shorter wait times. Our findings suggest, for example, that consumers who travel with a companion might not take advantage of services like TSA PreCheck, an airline VIP lounge, or a free upgrade if they were available only to themselves. It also helps explain why consumers don’t like time Airlines separate families in their seat assignments.
However, we also tested some initiatives that marketers can use to encourage people to choose a high-quality experience that requires them to be away from their mate. In another experiment, we described the train journey as either a fun part of a journey or a practical way to get to a final destination. More participants accepted a free upgrade—even though it required sitting farther away from their romantic partner—when they saw that taking the train was beneficial. This is because they didn’t care much about creating shared memories during the experiment.
We still don’t know how this preference affects relationship quality.
For example, when can time away from your partner actually strengthen a relationship? And how should couples divide their time between lower-quality activities done together and higher-quality activities done alone? It may be an option for separate activities, for example, when one partner’s desired activity is not beneficial to the other.
Also, since people believe that physical proximity is a prerequisite for creating shared memories, how can partners who live in different places also develop shared memories? This question is especially important in light of how COVID-19 has made it possible for more people to work and study remotely.
Ximena Garcia‐Rada et al, Desire to create shared memories increases consumers’ willingness to sacrifice quality of experience for the sake of togetherness, Journal of Consumer Psychology (2023). DOI: 10.1002/jcpy.1352
the quote: Travelers Will Decline An Upgrade To Sitting Closer To A Family Member – New Research On When People Like To Share Experiences (2023, May 28) Retrieved May 28, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-05-onenew -people .programming language
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