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The detrimental effects of power on confidence, advice taking, and accuracy

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Listed:
  • See, Kelly E.
  • Morrison, Elizabeth W.
  • Rothman, Naomi B.
  • Soll, Jack B.

Abstract

Incorporating input from others can enhance decision quality, yet often people do not effectively utilize advice. We propose that greater power increases the propensity to discount advice, and that a key mechanism explaining this effect is elevated confidence in one’s judgment. We investigate the relationships across four studies: a field survey where working professionals rated their own power and confidence and were rated by coworkers on their level of advice taking; an advice taking task where power and confidence were self-reported; and two advice taking experiments where power was manipulated. Results consistently showed a negative relationship between power and advice taking, and evidence of mediation through confidence. The fourth study also revealed that higher power participants were less accurate in their final judgments. Power can thus exacerbate the tendency for people to overweight their own initial judgment, such that the most powerful decision makers can also be the least accurate.

Suggested Citation

  • See, Kelly E. & Morrison, Elizabeth W. & Rothman, Naomi B. & Soll, Jack B., 2011. "The detrimental effects of power on confidence, advice taking, and accuracy," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 272-285.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:116:y:2011:i:2:p:272-285
    DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2011.07.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Agrawal, Nidhi & Han, DaHee & Duhachek, Adam, 2013. "Emotional agency appraisals influence responses to preference inconsistent information," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 120(1), pages 87-97.
    2. repec:eee:aosoci:v:66:y:2018:i:c:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Vriend, Tim & Jordan, Jennifer & Janssen, Onne, 2016. "Reaching the top and avoiding the bottom: How ranking motivates unethical intentions and behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 142-155.
    4. repec:eee:ijrema:v:32:y:2015:i:2:p:179-186 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Rader, Christina A. & Soll, Jack B. & Larrick, Richard P., 2015. "Pushing away from representative advice: Advice taking, anchoring, and adjustment," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 26-43.
    6. Effron, Daniel A. & Miller, Dale T., 2015. "Do as I say, not as I’ve done: Suffering for a misdeed reduces the hypocrisy of advising others against it," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 16-32.
    7. Kramer, Marc M., 2016. "Financial literacy, confidence and financial advice seeking," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PA), pages 198-217.
    8. repec:eee:ijrema:v:35:y:2018:i:1:p:81-99 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Fast, Nathanael J. & Sivanathan, Niro & Mayer, Nicole D. & Galinsky, Adam D., 2012. "Power and overconfident decision-making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 249-260.
    10. Kennedy, Jessica A. & Anderson, Cameron, 2017. "Hierarchical rank and principled dissent: How holding higher rank suppresses objection to unethical practices," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 30-49.
    11. Philipp Ecken & Richard Pibernik, 2016. "Hit or Miss: What Leads Experts to Take Advice for Long-Term Judgments?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 62(7), pages 2002-2021, July.
    12. Kausel, Edgar E. & Culbertson, Satoris S. & Leiva, Pedro I. & Slaughter, Jerel E. & Jackson, Alexander T., 2015. "Too arrogant for their own good? Why and when narcissists dismiss advice," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 33-50.
    13. Önkal, Dilek & Sinan Gönül, M. & Goodwin, Paul & Thomson, Mary & Öz, Esra, 2017. "Evaluating expert advice in forecasting: Users’ reactions to presumed vs. experienced credibility," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 280-297.
    14. repec:eee:ijrema:v:31:y:2014:i:3:p:293-308 is not listed on IDEAS

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