Advice

62 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2020 Last revised: 20 Jan 2021

See all articles by Sean H. Williams

Sean H. Williams

University of Texas School of Law

Date Written: July 22, 2020

Abstract

This Article seeks to resurrect an ancient technology for enhancing the welfare of others: Peer advice. For decisions as variable as whether to eat a marshmallow or which dialysis treatment to undergo, advice-giving is a powerful and as-yet-unrecognized de-biasing tool. In fact, it is one of the most comprehensive and effective de-biasing tools ever studied. People who succumb to motivated reasoning, hyperbolic discounting, and a host of other biases offer advice that is untainted by them. When advising others we are more creative, process information and probability more rationally, and see the forest rather than the trees. Far from the blind leading the blind, our friends and family see us and our situation far more clearly than we do. Currently, peer advice is an entirely untapped resource. Promoting, incentivizing, or even sometimes mandating advice can help us improve our decision making in numerous contexts such as consumer contracts, health care, education, and financial planning.

Keywords: behavioral law and economics, nudge

Suggested Citation

Williams, Sean H., Advice (July 22, 2020). U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 719, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3657640 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3657640

Sean H. Williams (Contact Author)

University of Texas School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States

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