People place more value on advice from others whom they view as expert; however, the ways in which advisors might increase perceptions of their expertise through language choice remains unclear. This article examines a married partner’s ability to influence perceptions of their expertise, and consequent advice outcomes, by making explicit claims about past experience with a problem. Two experimental studies tested the effects of experience claims across work versus family problem contexts and examined dimensions of relational communication as mediators. Findings demonstrated that experience claims have the potential to affect evaluations of the spouse’s expertise and evaluations of advice; however, this effect varied based on problem context. Results suggested that statements about previous experience with work problems may improve advice outcomes, whereas experience claims in the context of family problems lead to less positive perceptions of advice. Perceived advisor empathy mediated the negative association between experience claims and advice outcomes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology
- Language and Linguistics
- Sociology and Political Science
- Linguistics and Language