Variability in advice taking in decision making


We investigated how people would change and vary in accepting advice when the effectiveness of advice was unclear. In each trial, participants estimated a monthly rent of an apartment room based on the attribute list. Then, another estimate by a real-estate agent was given as advice. Participants made a final estimation, either by taking the advice fully, partially, or rejecting it totally. They repeated 48 estimations without feedback. The weight of advice index, representing how much each participant weighed a given advice, gradually decreased as the number of trials increased. Interestingly, the gradual reduction of acceptance was not observed in participants with high empathy and low depressive scores; they kept accepting advice even when the effectiveness of advice was unclear. These results suggest that the willingness of accepting and using advice depends on history of advice taking, the individual traits, and mood.

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