ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2014, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (10): 1591-1602.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.01591

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The Influence of Prime of Positive Self-label on Advice-taking

DUAN Jinyun; ZHOU Ran; GU Xiaohua   

  1. (Department of Psychology, Soochow University; Key Research Institute of Education Ministry-Center for Chinese Urbanization Studies, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123, China)
  • Received:2013-12-01 Published:2014-10-25 Online:2014-10-25
  • Contact: DUAN Jinyun, E-mail:


Advice taking, which is a decision-making process formulated by decision-makers with the reference of others’ suggestions, has become a research hotspot as the interactive process between advisers and decision-makers, and receives more attention in the field of behavioral decision making. In this study, we proposed that the labeling for decision maker is a potential predictor in the advice taking process. Specifically, whether the decision-maker takes the advice from others will be influenced effectively by the descriptions (labeling stick to the decision maker). This study assumed that labeling in advance will exert an influence on advice taking by different mechanism in different decision-making scenarios. Using widely-used “Judge-Advisor System (JAS)” experimental model, this paper explored the influence of the prime of positive self-labeling on advice taking in three decision making scenarios which were decided by whether there are hopes to benefit or not, and whether they are public or in private. 3 studies have been done in this research in a gradually deepening logical sequence. Study 1 included preliminary and formal experiments, and used 2 (Positive Self-labeling Priming: Yes/No) × 2 (Hope of Benefit: Yes/No) between-subject design to explore whether the advice taking process and the cognitive dissonance of the decision maker will be influenced by positive self-labeling in the public condition. Study 2 used between-subject design to further explore whether the prime of positive self-labeling will influence the advice taking in the private condition of the scenario that there is likely no benefit will be available. Further, study 3 explored whether the positive emotion of decision-makers will be promoted by the prime of positive self-labeling of decision makers, and whether positive meaning-finding acts as a mediator between the positive emotion and advice taking under the public condition of hopefully benefiting decision scene. The participants are university students and the number is 91 (experiment 1), 135 (experiment 2) and 96 (experiment 3) respectively. The results found that the prime of the positive self-labeling of decision makers would promote them to take the advice no matter in the hopefully benefiting decision scene or in the likely no benefit scene, but it only caused cognitive dissonance of decision makers in no- benefiting decision scene in the public condition, and there is not a significant effect on the advice taking and cognitive dissonance. It also showed that positive meaning-finding mediated the effect between the positive emotion and advice taking under the public condition of hopefully benefiting decision scene. The implications, limitations and future directions of the study were discussed as well.

Key words: advice taking, labeling effect, cognitive dissonance, positive emotion