The Huron University College Journal of Learning and Motivation

Article Title

The Effects of Social Interactions on Consumption: A Test of Social Facilitation


Sierra Anderson


Previous research by de Castro has shown that people consume different amounts while in certain social surroundings. In particular people consume more while in the company of family and friends and less when surrounded by strangers. In this experiment the pairing of friends or the pairing of strangers while watching a movie clip was applied to observe the effect that different social arrangements placed on the behaviour of consumption. It was also tested to see the effect that prior exposure to eating would have on the behaviour of consumption. Refreshments and snacks were readily available for the participants of this study. It was found through the analysis of a two-way, between subjects analysis of variance that there was a significant main effect of pairing of friends or strangers, F ( I , 36) = 28.98, p < 0.10 but no main effect of prior exposure to eating, F ( I , 36) = 1.35 p < 0.10 and no significant interaction, F ( l , 36) = .10, p < 0.10. The results of this test show that people consume more while surrounded by friends than with strangers, but not necessarily more when previously exposed to eating.

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