Confidently at your service: Advisors alter their stated confidence to be helpful

Uriel Haran, Asaf Mazar, Mordechai Hurwitz, Simone Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

When giving advice, people seek to inform others, but also help them reach a decision. We investigate how the motivation to help affects the confidence people express when advising others. We propose that assuming the role of advisor instigates a desire to help the advisee decide more easily. This desire in turn leads advisors to communicate higher confidence than they actually feel, provided that the environment is sufficiently certain, and thus the risk of misleading the advisee is low. We test our predictions in five studies, using experimental tasks (Studies 1–3), a survey of experienced professionals (Study 4) and an organizational scenario (Study 5). We find that in high-certainty environments, people convey higher confidence when providing advice than private judgments. This effect is driven by the motivation of advisors to facilitate advisees’ decision making: the higher advisors’ desire to help, the more pronounced the effect on their stated confidence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104154
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Volume171
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2022

Keywords

  • Advice
  • Confidence
  • Helpfulness
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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