Using Advice and Assessing Its Quality

Nigel Harvey, Clare Harries, Ilan Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People received advice from four sources and used it to produce a judgment. They also assessed the quality of advice by estimating the probability that it would be correct. They were better at assessing than at using advice: combinations of advice based on their assessments were superior to their judgments. Order of assessing and using advice, superficial differences between advisors, and using other methods of advice assessment had no significant effects on this superiority of advice assessment over advice use. However, use but not assessment was improved when some advisors exhibited biases opposite to those that people typically show. It appears that using advice imposes a heavier processing load than assessing its quality and that this load can be lightened by including advisors who exhibit unusual behavior. Their salience may help people working under a heavy processing load make appropriate pairings between advisor weights and advice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-273
Number of pages22
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by Economic and Social Research Council Grant R000236827. Parts of it were presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Dallas, 1998, and in the Judge±Advisor System track of the 32nd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Maui, 1999. The authors thank James Thom for his help in running Experiment 1.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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