Anchoring Affect

. Anchoring affect occurs when people consider a particular value for an unknown quantity before estimating that quantity, ie the estimates stay close to the numbers that people consider.

. Two different mechanisms can produce an anchoring affect, ie a deliberate process of adjustment, and the process of priming (selectively evoking comparable evidence)

. Can use an "adjust-and-anchor" heuristic as a strategy for estimating uncertain quantities, ie start with an anchoring number, assess whether it is too high or too low, and adjust. This is like coming off at a freeway exit, where you tend to drive too fast

. People adjust less, ie stay closer to the anchor, when they are tired, and/or memory is overloaded, and/or drunk, etc. As adjustment is a deliberate attempt, it requires effort.

. Many systematic errors make us gullible and prone to believe whatever we believe in!

. People who ask difficult questions will clutch at straws and the anchor is a plausible straw.

. Anchoring in facts can be studied in tasks which involve judgment and choice working on data that is retrieved from memory (an automatic and involuntary operation. Thus anchoring is susceptible to information that is easier to retrieve. Remember: a message, unless it is immediately rejected as a lie, will have the same effect on the associative process - regardless of its reliability; the key to the message is the story which is based on whatever information is available. That holds, even if the quantity of the information is slight and its quality is poor

. Anchoring results from associated activation; whether the story is true or believable is not important.

. Random anchors are extreme cases as they provide no information

. Priming can be affected by variety, ie your thoughts and behaviours may be influenced by the a stimulus of which you are not aware, ie the major influence is the "environment of the moment". It does not necessarily respond to subjective experience

. To handle anchoring, we there is a need for a strategy of deliberately thinking the opposite of the anchor

. Availability heuristic, ie when we asked ourselves what people acts you do when they wish to estimate the frequency of the category, like dangerous plans. It is the process of judging frequency by the ease with which instances come to mind. It involves substituting one question for another, ie estimate the size of a category or the frequency of an event. Substitution of questions produces systematic errors.

. A salient event that attracts attention will be easily retrieved from memory, eg divorce scandal amongst politicians. This will be exaggerated.

. A dramatic event temporally temporarily increases the availability of its category, like a plane crash

. Personal experiences, pictures and vivid examples are more available than incidents that happen to others. The same bias happens in collaborative teams when team members feel they have done more than their fair share and others are not adequately grateful

. Resisting a large collection of attention of the available biases is very tiresome, ie energy expensive. On the other hand, maintaining one's vigilance against biases can be worthwhile if it helps avoid a costly mistake.


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