Thomas Schultze, Andreas Mojzisch and Stefan Schulz-Hardt

On the inability to ignore useless advice: A case for anchoring in the judge-advisor-system.

Experimental Psychology

Research in the judge-advisor-paradigm suggests that advice is generally utilized less than it should be according to its quality. In a series of four experiments, we challenge this widely held assumption. We hypothesize that when advice quality is low, the opposite phenomenon, namely overutilization of advice, occurs. We further assume that this overutilization effect is the result of anchoring: advice serves as an anchor, thus causing an adjustment toward even useless advice. The data of our four experiments support these hypotheses. Judges systematically adjusted their estimates toward advice that we introduced to them as being useless, and this effect was stable after controlling for intentional utilization of this advice. Furthermore, we demonstrate that anchoring-based adjustment toward advice is independent of advice quality. Our findings enhance our understanding of the processes involved in advice taking and identify a potential threat to judgment accuracy arising from an inability to discount useless advice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

Accession Number: 2017-27419-003. PMID: 28633625 Other Journal Title: Zeitschrift für Experimentelle Psychologie; Zeitschrift für Experimentelle und Angewandte Psychologie. Partial author list: First Author & Affiliation: Schultze, Thomas; Institute of Psychology, Georg-August-University Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany. Other Publishers: Hogrefe & Huber Publishers. Release Date: 20170626. Publication Type: Journal (0100), Peer Reviewed Journal (0110). Format Covered: Electronic. Document Type: Journal Article. Language: English. Major Descriptor: Decision Making; Judgment; Social Influences. Classification: Group & Interpersonal Processes (3020). Population: Human (10); Male (30); Female (40). Age Group: Adulthood (18 yrs & older) (300). Tests & Measures: Quantitative Estimation Task. Methodology: Empirical Study; Quantitative Study. Supplemental Data: Data Sets Internet; Other Internet. Page Count: 14. Issue Publication Date: 2017. Publication History: Accepted Date: Feb 14, 2017; Revised Date: Feb 7, 2017; First Submitted Date: Aug 31, 2016. Copyright Statement: Hogrefe Publishing. 2017.