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Advice as license: Using advice to make selfish decisions
The present research reveals that people use advice not only to make better-quality decisions, but also to justify selfish decisions. In two studies (N = 627; 3,762 observations), participants received suggestions from advisors about how to make decisions that pit selfish benefits against prosocial good. We found that participants used advice significantly more when advisors suggested making a selfish rather than prosocial choice, but only when individuals were predisposed to care less about morality (i.e., had weaker moral identities). We discuss implications for understanding what motivates people to take advice, and how people strategically use advice to do what they want, not what they should.