With Jon Woon

We experimentally investigate the effect of a second opinion on information transmission. Our design varies the number of senders as well as the alignment and magnitude of senders’ biases in a sequential, cheap-talk, sender-receiver game. We find that decision makers do no better when a second opinion is available, irrespective of the alignment or competition between advisers, than when they receive a single opinion. Despite the fact that messaging behavior differs across experimental conditions, receivers successfully extract the same amount of information—an amount greater than what is theoretically predicted. These findings are consistent with senders using a simple strategy of naïve exaggeration, with receivers correctly recognizing this and adjusting their behavior accordingly.



Replication materials