Assimilation and contrast effects of anchoring stimuli on judgments.


In complex social communication the introduction of reference points may produce two opposing effects. Under some conditions the introduction of a reference point or stand beyond S's current position tends to move him toward the new position. Thus, telling him that experts think it will be at least 10 yr. before peaceful use of atomic power is feasible, may cause an individual to increase his own estimate from one of 5 yr. to one of 6 or 7 yr. Under other conditions the introduction of communication results in a rejection of the new proposal and a stronger entrenchment in his original position. Here one has the frequently mentioned "boomerang effect" (2,3, 7, 9). To some extent at least, these phenomena may be the result of judgmental processes and may be conceptually closely akin to the phenomena of assimilation and contrast in the judgment of simple stimulus material. Before proceeding to a study of the complex factors involved in communication it was thought desirable to start with an analysis of these judgmental effects with simple stimulus materials in a manner applicable to the social area. The research of Rogers (11) suggested the feasibility of doing such

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@article{Sherif1958AssimilationAC, title={Assimilation and contrast effects of anchoring stimuli on judgments.}, author={Mohsen Sherif and D. Taub and Carl I. Hovland}, journal={Journal of experimental psychology}, year={1958}, volume={55 2}, pages={150-5} }