Selective exposure among advisors: the impact of impression motivation


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Andreas Kastenmüller, School of Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF, UK. E-mail:


Audience confirmation bias (ACB) refers to the extent to which people prefer information supporting (vs. conflicting with) their audience's views. In two studies, we showed that advisors shifted their ACB toward the needs of their advisees (i.e., audience): When advisors were led to believe that their advisees wanted to defend their views, the ACB was higher compared with when advisees were open minded for critique. Study 2 indicated that this pattern occurred because advisors wanted to have a pleasant interaction with their advisees (impression motivation): Whereas impression-motivated advisors exhibited a stronger ACB when they were asked to give advice to a defensive (vs. open-minded) advisee, accuracy-motivated advisors showed a balanced ACB, regardless of their advisee's needs.