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Trust Is A Two-Way Street: Why Trusting Advisors Are More Persuasive
Trust is essential for effective collaboration. In advice settings, decision makers’ trust in their advisors determines their willingness to follow advice. In four studies (N = 1,397), we find the inverse effect: trust by advisors affects subsequent advice taking by decision makers. This effect persists across different levels of advice quality (both perceived and actual). We find a similar effect for advisors who display trust vs. distrust in someone other than the decision makers, suggesting that decision makers are sensitive to advisor’s behavior rather than to their own experience of being trusted. We identify two underlying mechanisms of the effect: the evaluation of trusting advisors as providers of more accurate advice and the motivation to reciprocate the advisor’s trust by following advice. These results shed light on the dynamics of trust and persuasion in advice relationships and provide insight for advisors who wish to maximize the effectiveness of their input.