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People Are Less Likely To Ask Gossips For Advice
We investigate advice within a broader social context and identify a key reputational factor that influences whether or not people are asked for advice. Specifically, we examine the impact of a reputation for gossip on others’ willingness to ask someone for advice. Across 5 studies, we demonstrate that a potential advisor’s reputation for gossip reduces others’ willingness to ask them for advice, even when the potential advisor is highly competent and easily accessible. We show that, when people ask gossips for advice, they are more concerned that the gossip will judgmentally tell others, and we find that this concern is related to a decreased willingness to ask gossips for advice. Finally, we show that people prefer asking people with reputations for discretion for advice. Our results advance our understanding of the advice seeking process and highlight the importance of social reputations in determining who people ask for advice.