Source credibility in social judgment: Bias, expertise, and the judge's point of view

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Abstract

Tested mathematical models of source credibility in 5 experiments in which 121 undergraduate judges estimated the value of hypothetical used cars based on blue book values and/or estimates provided by sources who examined the cars. The sources varied in mechanical expertise and in bias; they were described as friends of the buyer or seller of the car or as neutral. Individuals judged the highest price the buyer should pay, the lowest price the seller should accept, and the “true” value (“fair” price) of the car. Data indicate that expertise amplifies the effect of the source's bias. This effect was predicted by a scale-adjustment model in which the source's bias shifts the scale value of the source's estimate. The weight of an estimate depended chiefly on the source's expertise. The weight of an estimate also depended configurally on the other estimates: Judges instructed to take the buyer's point of view gave greater weight to the lower estimate, whereas judges who identified with the seller placed a greater weight on the high estimate. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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