The impact of information from similar or different advisors on judgment

Francesca Gino, Jen Shang, Rachel Croson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


People rely on others' advice to make judgments on a daily basis. In three studies, we examine the differential impacts of similarity between the source of that advice and the person making the judgment in two settings: judging others' behavior and judging one's own actions. We find that similarity interacts with the target of the judgment. In particular, information received from a different advisor is more heavily weighed than from a similar advisor in judging others' actions, but information from a similar advisor is more heavily weighed than from a different advisor in judging one's own. We provide two potential explanations for this interaction, difficulty of the judgment and informativeness of the advice. Our analyses show a moderated mediating role of informativeness and difficulty in the relationship between the advisor's similarity by judgment type interaction and advice use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-302
Number of pages16
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the National Science Foundation’s TESS (Time-sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences) project. The authors also thank the Indiana Survey Research Center for conducting the first study and appreciate the support of the staff and facilities of the Center for Behavioral Decision Research at Carnegie Mellon University for the second and third studies. The authors are especially grateful to Zachary Burns, Andrew McAfee, Don Moore and Lamar Pierce for their insightful feedback on earlier drafts. We thank the anonymous reviewers and the associate editor for their very helpful comments during the review process.


  • Advice taking
  • Difficulty
  • Informativeness
  • Judgment
  • Similarity


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