Considering The Impossible: Explaining The Effects of Implausible Anchors

  title={Considering The Impossible: Explaining The Effects of Implausible Anchors},
  author={Thomas Mussweiler and Fritz Strack},
  journal={Social Cognition},
Research on judgmental anchoring - the assimilation of a numeric estimate towards a previously considered standard - has demonstrated that implausible anchors produce large effects. We propose an insufficient adjustment plus selective accessibility account for these effects. Specifically, judges may adjust from an implausible anchor until a plausible value for the target is reached and may then test the hypothesis that the target’s extension is similar to this value. If this is indeed the case… 

Tables from this paper

When relevance matters: anchoring effects can be larger for relevant than for irrelevant anchors

Studies on anchoring effects indicate that judgments can be biased by previous comparisons to high- or low-anchor values. Anchoring effects have been demonstrated in many domains and they have been

Taking the High (or Low) Road: A Quantifier Priming Perspective on Basic Anchoring Effects

It is shown that the consideration of numerical anchors may bias subsequent judgments primarily through the priming of quantifiers, rather than the numbers themselves, in numerically anchored judgments.

How Multiple Anchors Affect Judgment: Evidence from the Lab and eBay

The vast majority of anchoring research has found that judgments assimilate toward single anchors, but no papers have directly compared the impact of one anchor with that of multiple anchors. We

Putting Adjustment Back in the Anchoring and Adjustment Heuristic: Differential Processing of Self-Generated and Experimenter-Provided Anchors

Evidence is presented that insufficient adjustment produces anchoring effects when the anchors are self-generated, and it is suggested it is time to reintroduce anchoring and adjustment as an explanation for some judgments under uncertainty.

Anchors as Semantic Primes in Value Construction: An EEG Study of the Anchoring Effect

This study provides proof for the robustness of the anchoring effect and neural evidence of the semantic priming model, indicating that activated contextual information, even seemingly irrelevant, can be embedded in the construction of economic value in the brain.

The Anchoring-and-Adjustment Heuristic

The results of two sets of experiments indicate that adjustments from self-generated anchor values tend to be insufficient because they terminate once a plausible value is reached unless one is able and willing to search for a more accurate estimate.

The anchor integration model: A descriptive model of anchoring effects

The Interval Anchoring Effect.

The anchoring effect refers to a decision bias that initial irrelevant information can influence late judgment. So far, most (if not all) studies on the anchoring effect adopted only point anchors



Hypothesis-consistent testing and semantic priming in the anchoring paradigm: A selective accessibility model.

Results of four studies support the notion that anchoring effects are mediated by mechanisms of hypothesis-consistent testing and semantic priming. According to the suggested Selective Accessibility

Explaining the Enigmatic Anchoring Effect: Mechanisms of Selective Accessibility

Results of 3 studies support the notion that anchoring is a special case of semantic priming; specifically, information that is activated to solve a comparative anchoring task will subsequently be

Comparing Is Believing: A Selective Accessibility Model of Judgmental Anchoring

Judgmental anchoring constitutes an ubiquitous and robust phenomenon. Nevertheless, its underlying mechanisms remain somewhat mysterious. We discuss four accounts that attempt to explain anchoring

A new look at anchoring effects: basic anchoring and its antecedents.

Five studies supported the hypothesis that basic anchoring effects can occur, whereby uninformative numerical anchors influence a judgment even when people are not asked to compare this number to the target value.

Is 7300 m Equal to 7.3 km? Same Semantics but Different Anchoring Effects.

  • WongKwong
  • Psychology
    Organizational behavior and human decision processes
  • 2000
The three experiments provided converging support for the hypothesis that an anchor is superficially represented as absolute value plus affix in short-term memory.

The use of category and exemplar knowledge in the solution of anchoring tasks.

Five studies examine the role that category and exemplar knowledge play in the mediation of anchoring effects--the assimilation of an absolute estimate to a previously considered standard. Studies 1

The limits of anchoring.

Anchoring and adjustment is a pervasive bias in which decision makers are influenced by random or uninformative numbers or starting points. As a means of understanding this effect, we explore two

Measures of Anchoring in Estimation Tasks

The authors describe a method for the quantitative study of anchoring effects in estimation tasks. A calibration group provides estimates of a set of uncertain quantities. Subjects in the anchored

Thinking, Judging, and Communicating: A Process Account of Context Effects in Attitude Surveys

The central goal of asking questions in a survey is to obtain reliable information about characteristics of the respondent. Asking, and consequently answering questions, however, never occurs in a