Pushing away from representative advice: Advice taking, anchoring, and adjustment

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Five studies compare the effects of forming an independent judgment prior to receiving advice with the effects of receiving advice before forming one's own opinion. We call these the independent-then-revise sequence and the dependent sequence, respectively. We found that dependent participants adjusted away from advice, leading to fewer estimates close to the advice compared to independent-then-revise participants (Studies 1-5). This "push-away" effect was mediated by confidence in the advice (Study 2), with dependent participants more likely to evaluate advice unfavorably and to search for additional cues than independent-then-revise participants (Study 3). Study 4 tested accuracy under different advice sequences. Study 5 found that classic anchoring paradigms also show the push-away effect for median advice. Overall, the research shows that people adjust from representative (median) advice. The paper concludes by discussing when push-away effects occur in advice taking and anchoring studies and the value of independent distributions for observing these effects.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rader, CA; Soll, JB; Larrick, RP

Published Date

  • January 1, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 130 /

Start / End Page

  • 26 - 43

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0749-5978

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.obhdp.2015.05.004

Citation Source

  • Scopus