The present research demonstrates that consumers often feel inhibited from engaging in hedonic activities alone, especially when these activities are observable by others. When considering whether to engage in a hedonic and public activity such as going to a movie alone, individuals anticipate negative inferences from others about their social connectedness that reduce their interest in engaging in the activity. Notably, consumers seem to overestimate how much their enjoyment of these activities depends on whether they are accompanied by a companion. Cues that attenuate consumers’ anticipation of negative inferences by making an activity seem more utilitarian or by reducing the anticipated number of observers systematically increases interest in engaging in unaccompanied public activities.

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