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Demonstrability, difficulty and persuasion: An experimental study of advice taking


Hoffman, R and Chesney, T and Chuah, S-H and Kock, F and Larner, J, Demonstrability, difficulty and persuasion: An experimental study of advice taking, The Journal of Economic Psychology, 76 pp. 1-13. ISSN 0167-4870 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

2019 Elsevier B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.joep.2019.102215


Self-interested paid advisors should try to sell their solutions no matter how they came about. However, we present evidence that advisor persuasiveness depends on two dimensions of their prior problem solving: solution difficulty and demonstrability. We report a laboratory experiment with repeated advisor-client interactions where both these dimensions are independently varied. Persuasion rises in solution demonstrability and falls in difficulty. The reason is non-optimising behaviour: Advisors lacking in confidence fail to conceal difficult problem solving and those receiving their advice baulk when the proposed solution lacks objective success criteria irrespective of its promise. Our findings suggest differential prospects for persuasion and selling of different kinds of products, services and ideas.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:persuasion, advisors, experiment, demonstrability, lying cost
Research Division:Economics
Research Group:Applied economics
Research Field:Experimental economics
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Microeconomics
Objective Field:Preference, behaviour and welfare
UTAS Author:Chuah, S-H (Professor Swee-Hoon Chuah)
ID Code:136669
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Economics and Finance
Deposited On:2020-01-13
Last Modified:2020-05-19
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

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