Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 11:40am to 1:10pm
Sage Hall, 141
Johnson Graduate School-Management, 106 Sage Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-6201, USA
Nina Strohminger - University of Pennsylvania
Abstract: "It has long been known that advocating for a cause can alter the advocate’s beliefs. Yet a guiding assumption of many advocates is that the biasing effect of advocacy is controllable. Lawyers, for instance, are taught they can retain unbiased beliefs whilst advocating for their clients, and that they must do so to secure just outcomes. Across seven experiments (five preregistered; N = 2,256) we show that the biasing effect of advocacy is not controllable, but automatic. Merely incentivizing people to advocate altered a range of beliefs about character, guilt, and punishment. This bias appeared even in beliefs that are highly stable, when people were financially incentivized to form true beliefs, and among professional lawyers, who are trained to prevent advocacy from biasing their judgments”.