23 April 2018
Do People Inherently Dislike Uncertain Advice?
The purpose of this essay is to discuss the results and logic behind a study conducted in
order to see whether the type of advice given reflects the response which is transmitted from an
individual. This journal entry was edited and posted by Celia Gaertig and Joseph P. Simmons.
This has long been a very interesting topic of conversation in the world of psychology, and just
in general. What is the reasoning behind a particular response one gives, and what factors
determine it? The essay will now proceed to discuss the breakdown of the study, the results, and
a personal interpretation from myself.
The way in which the study was conducted was in 9 studies. The first studies, 1-6, were
all similar- and labeled “Advice Evaluation.” These studies consisted of the subjects being asked
to predict the outcome of certain sporting events. Prior to each prediction they made, they
received and had the chance to evaluate over advice. Studies 1-2 were conducted on fans of the
NBA. 3-6 were on fans of the MLB. The procedure for all six were conducted fairly similarly, in
that eight games were selected randomly, no earlier than 7 pm. For each of the MLB games, the
subjects were given the game start times, as well as both the teams participating and the starting
pitchers. The advice given was different in that some of it was more assertive than others. In
studies 1-4 and 6, the subjects were given advice which contained lower confidence. Such as, “I
am not sure, but I think that the Chicago Cubs will win the game” (Gaertis;Simmons0). In study
5, the advice given was very confidently stated. In regards to the basketball related studies- 1 and
2- the subjects had the task of guessing the point total teams would score in a particular matchup.
The results showed that the subjects did not really suffer from uncertain advice, in the form of
point ranges. “ In fact, participants preferred advice that spanned a 20-point range to certain
advice, and they did not significantly dislike uncertain advice that spanned a very large
(40-point) range” (Gaertis;Simmons).
Study 7 was conducted under the premises of “ Advice Evaluation and Varied
Probabilities.” They were again asked to predict the outcomes of sporting events, and this time to
evaluate the advice they were given previously. The setting of this study was in a laboratory- and
the incentives for a correct prediction were increased, so as to make sure the participants were to
make the best prediction they could. They were...