Mullins, Daniel L (2018-08). The Role of Availability Cascades in Tourism Decision-Making. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon

abstract

  • Momentum from a single tourism event can produce a pattern of mass perception. Availability Cascades are processes of collective belief formation where natural social learning causes individuals to incorrectly infer the probability of a proposition. The thesis measures an individual's level of negative affect after selecting an initial tourism choice, seeing contradicting group judgments, and selecting a final opinion. In the absence of confounding variables, emotions were observed to be intrinsic incentives that completely predicted the strategies by which individuals reacted to their social groups. Those who experienced negative affect after seeing disconfirming opinions (p = .007) were able to assuage this emotion by conforming (p < .001). For those who did not conform, there was an intrinsic and emotionally positive response after observing a social group contradict their views (p =.02). Strengthening an opinion against all social signals allowed these "non-conformers" to maintain confidence in their personal perceptions, however, committing to this final decision increased negative affect (p = .01). Without any direct emotional meta-data or tangible rewards for conformity, risk-averse proportions remained stable across groups--so threats were not a factor in the choice. This means choices were dictated by individuals' emotional reactions to their social groups. If future tourism research can offer insights into how to change nonconformers' initial reactions to their social signals, then a proposition could be guided towards collective consensus irrespective of whether the risk is perceived or real.
  • Momentum from a single tourism event can produce a pattern of mass perception.
    Availability Cascades are processes of collective belief formation where natural social
    learning causes individuals to incorrectly infer the probability of a proposition. The thesis
    measures an individual's level of negative affect after selecting an initial tourism choice,
    seeing contradicting group judgments, and selecting a final opinion.
    In the absence of confounding variables, emotions were observed to be intrinsic
    incentives that completely predicted the strategies by which individuals reacted to their
    social groups. Those who experienced negative affect after seeing disconfirming
    opinions (p = .007) were able to assuage this emotion by conforming (p < .001). For
    those who did not conform, there was an intrinsic and emotionally positive response after
    observing a social group contradict their views (p =.02). Strengthening an opinion against
    all social signals allowed these "non-conformers" to maintain confidence in their
    personal perceptions, however, committing to this final decision increased negative affect
    (p = .01). Without any direct emotional meta-data or tangible rewards for conformity,
    risk-averse proportions remained stable across groups--so threats were not a factor in the
    choice. This means choices were dictated by individuals' emotional reactions to their
    social groups. If future tourism research can offer insights into how to change nonconformers'
    initial reactions to their social signals, then a proposition could be guided
    towards collective consensus irrespective of whether the risk is perceived or real.

publication date

  • August 2018