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Do we listen to advice just because we paid for it? The impact of advice cost on its use

  • Gino, Francesca
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    When facing a decision, people often rely on advice received from others. Previous studies have shown that people tend to discount others' opinions. Yet, such discounting varies according to several factors. This paper isolates one of these factors: the cost of advice. Specifically, three experiments investigate whether the cost of advice, independent of its quality, affects how people use advice. The studies use the Judge-Advisor System (JAS) to investigate whether people value advice from others more when it costs money than when it is free, and examine the psychological processes that could account for this effect. The results show that people use paid advice significantly more than free advice and suggest that this effect is due to the same forces that have been documented in the literature to explain the sunk costs fallacy. Implications for circumstances under which people value others' opinions are discussed.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WP2-4SC5PM6-1/2/af2ce9649e3f15b50dc0b7ceab6b7258
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    Volume (Year): 107 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 (November)
    Pages: 234-245

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:107:y:2008:i:2:p:234-245
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp

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    1. Gourville, John T & Soman, Dilip, 1998. " Payment Depreciation: The Behavioral Effects of Temporally Separating Payments from Consumption," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(2), pages 160-74, September.
    2. Patt, Anthony G. & Bowles, Hannah Riley & Cash, David W., 2006. "Mechanisms for Enhancing the Credibility of an Adviser: Prepayment and Aligned Incentives," Working Paper Series rwp06-010, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    3. Heath, Chip, 1995. "Escalation and De-escalation of Commitment in Response to Sunk Costs: The Role of Budgeting in Mental Accounting," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 38-54, April.
    4. Yaniv, Ilan, 2004. "Receiving other people's advice: Influence and benefit," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 1-13, January.
    5. Sniezek, Janet A. & Van Swol, Lyn M., 2001. "Trust, Confidence, and Expertise in a Judge-Advisor System," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 288-307, March.
    6. Thaler, Richard, 1980. "Toward a positive theory of consumer choice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 39-60, March.
    7. Richard P. Larrick & Jack B. Soll, 2006. "Intuitions About Combining Opinions: Misappreciation of the Averaging Principle," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(1), pages 111-127, January.
    8. Yaniv, Ilan & Kleinberger, Eli, 2000. "Advice Taking in Decision Making: Egocentric Discounting and Reputation Formation," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 260-281, November.
    9. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
    10. Garland, Howard & Newport, Stephanie, 1991. "Effects of absolute and relative sunk costs on the decision to persist with a course of action," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 55-69, February.
    11. Harvey, Nigel & Fischer, Ilan, 1997. "Taking Advice: Accepting Help, Improving Judgment, and Sharing Responsibility," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 117-133, May.
    12. Sniezek, Janet A. & Buckley, Timothy, 1995. "Cueing and Cognitive Conflict in Judge-Advisor Decision Making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 159-174, May.
    13. Richard P. Larrick & Jack B. Soll, 2006. "Erratum--Intuitions About Combining Opinions: Misappreciation of the Averaging Principle," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(2), pages 309-310, February.
    14. Arkes, Hal R. & Blumer, Catherine, 1985. "The psychology of sunk cost," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 124-140, February.
    15. Ordonez, Lisa D., 1998. "The Effect of Correlation between Price and Quality on Consumer Choice," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 258-273, September.
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