Identifying Insincere and Sincere Bias Through Post-Report Interactions

60 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2014 Last revised: 26 Jan 2021

See all articles by Jeremiah W. Bentley

Jeremiah W. Bentley

Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Robert J. Bloomfield

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

Shai Davidai

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Melissa Ferguson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: January 25, 2021

Abstract

Advisors frequently have an interest in the decisions their advisees make, forcing advisees to distinguish their advisor’s unbiased beliefs from their self-interested bias. This task is likely to be especially hard when psychological forces distort advisors’ beliefs to make some of their bias sincerely held. In our first experiment, we show that advisors bias both their recommendations and their own actions toward their persuasion goal, and that advisees are better at distinguishing between the unbiased, sincerely biased, and insincerely biased parts of their advisor’s recommendation when they meet face-to-face to discuss, compared with when they receive only a written recommendation. Our second experiment shows that advisees distinguish their advisor’s bias from their advisor’s unbiased beliefs more accurately when the advisors are asked to provide fact-based information about their own actions. Both experiments show that post-report interactions are more helpful for identifying insincere bias than sincere bias.

Keywords: Conflicts of interest, deception, deception detection, persuasion, sincerity, cheap-talk, reporting, self-deception

JEL Classification: G14, G31, D82, D83, D80, C72, M41, M30, M40

Suggested Citation

Bentley, Jeremiah W. and Bloomfield, Robert J. and Davidai, Shai and Ferguson, Melissa, Identifying Insincere and Sincere Bias Through Post-Report Interactions (January 25, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2423131 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2423131

Jeremiah W. Bentley (Contact Author)

Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts Amherst ( email )

Department of Accounting
Amherst, MA 01003
United States

Robert J. Bloomfield

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

450 Sage Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-9407 (Phone)
607-254-4590 (Fax)

Shai Davidai

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Melissa Ferguson

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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