YOKOTA Kunihiro
   Department   Hiroshima shudo University  The Faculty of Health Sciences
   Position   Professor
Date 2023/04/19
Presentation Theme Conformity bias and task demonstrability in information searching
Conference Anual conference for the European Human Behavior and Evilution Association 2023
Promoters The European Human Behavior and Evilution Association
Conference Type International
Presentation Type Poster
Contribution Type Collaborative
Venue University of London, UK
Publisher and common publisher Mako Fujikawa, Masaru Tokuoka, Daisuke Nakanishi
Details Objective(s): Boyd & Richerson argue that conformity bias can characterize cultural evolution and be an adaptive strategy for obtaining accurate information in uncertain situations. Nonetheless, the evidence on conformity bias is inconclusive, with some studies showing evidence of this bias and others not. Especially, Eriksson & Coultas (2009) show that conformity bias does not occur in information-seeking tasks with questions that have no correct answer (e.g., norms.) However, conformity bias may be an adaptive strategy for answering questions with high demonstrability, such as objective questions with correct answers. This study aimed to investigate the role of task demonstrability in conformity bias by replicating the experiment in the study by Eriksson & Coultas (2009) using subjective and objective questions. The hypothesis was that conformity bias would occur when the correct response rate for objective questions slightly exceeded 50%.
Methods: In a pilot survey with 68 Japanese undergraduates, nine and five objective and subjective questions, respectively, that showed a correct response rate exceeding 50% were selected. In Experiment 1, 120 undergraduates answered to the 14 yes-or-no questions, were presented with the responses of nine, six, three, or zero other participants (“Yes” responses, within-participant design), and completed the same questions again. Experiment 2 replicated Experiment 1 with 183 crowd-workers. Results and
Conclusion(s): Both experiments showed evidence of conformity bias in both the subjective and objective questions, suggesting that conformity bias is an adaptive strategy for information searching. We discuss the differences between the experimental design of the prior study and our study.