Anchoring Bias

Anchoring bias is a pervasive cognitive phenomenon in which individuals subconsciously become too reliant on the first information which they are given on a certain subject, thus narrowing their field of vision and decision-making capabilities. New information is then interpreted and filtered in light of the first reference point – or anchor to which we cling – which, in turn, skews our perception of reality.The anchoring bias is considered to be the reason behind several other known biases and is deeply rooted into the human brain.It is extremely difficult (if not completely impossible) to avoid.Individuals seem to even create anchors by themselves, as proposed by “the anchor-and-adjust hypothesis”. Anchoring Bias ExplainedMuzafer Sherif, in his 1958 psychophysics study entitled “Assimilation and effects of anchoring stimuli on judgments”, first theorized the concept by studying the participants judgement of several stimuli which was, as assumed, based on the first and last stimuli.It was only later that Amos Tversky and Nobel Award Winner Daniel Kahneman did a similar study in which they asked participants to calculate the product of eight numbers.The numbers, however, were shown in two completely different ways (“1 × 2 × 3 × 4 × 5 × 6 × 7 × 8” and “8 × 7 × 6 × 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1”). Participants who saw the higher numbers first gave a significantly higher estimate than their counterparts.Influencing traitsStudies seem to link five different factors as influencers:1. Mood2. Experience3. Personality4. Cognitive ability5. Overconfidence
Anchoring bias is a pervasive cognitive phenomenon in which individuals subconsciously become too reliant on the first information which they are given on a certain subject, thus narrowing their field of vision and decision-making capabilities. New information is then interpreted and filtered in light of the first reference point – or anchor to which we cling – which, in turn, skews our perception of reality.The anchoring bias is considered to be the reason behind several other known biases and is deeply rooted into the human brain.It is extremely difficult (if not completely impossible) to avoid.Individuals seem to even create anchors by themselves, as proposed by “the anchor-and-adjust hypothesis”. Anchoring Bias ExplainedMuzafer Sherif, in his 1958 psychophysics study entitled “Assimilation and effects of anchoring stimuli on judgments”, first theorized the concept by studying the participants judgement of several stimuli which was, as assumed, based on the first and last stimuli.It was only later that Amos Tversky and Nobel Award Winner Daniel Kahneman did a similar study in which they asked participants to calculate the product of eight numbers.The numbers, however, were shown in two completely different ways (“1 × 2 × 3 × 4 × 5 × 6 × 7 × 8” and “8 × 7 × 6 × 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1”). Participants who saw the higher numbers first gave a significantly higher estimate than their counterparts.Influencing traitsStudies seem to link five different factors as influencers:1. Mood2. Experience3. Personality4. Cognitive ability5. Overconfidence

Anchoring bias is a pervasive cognitive phenomenon in which individuals subconsciously become too reliant on the first information which they are given on a certain subject, thus narrowing their field of vision and decision-making capabilities.

New information is then interpreted and filtered in light of the first reference point – or anchor to which we cling – which, in turn, skews our perception of reality.

The anchoring bias is considered to be the reason behind several other known biases and is deeply rooted into the human brain.

It is extremely difficult (if not completely impossible) to avoid.

Individuals seem to even create anchors by themselves, as proposed by “the anchor-and-adjust hypothesis”.

Anchoring Bias Explained

Muzafer Sherif, in his 1958 psychophysics study entitled “Assimilation and effects of anchoring stimuli on judgments”, first theorized the concept by studying the participants judgement of several stimuli which was, as assumed, based on the first and last stimuli.

It was only later that Amos Tversky and Nobel Award Winner Daniel Kahneman did a similar study in which they asked participants to calculate the product of eight numbers.

The numbers, however, were shown in two completely different ways (“1 × 2 × 3 × 4 × 5 × 6 × 7 × 8” and “8 × 7 × 6 × 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1”). Participants who saw the higher numbers first gave a significantly higher estimate than their counterparts.

Influencing traits

Studies seem to link five different factors as influencers:

1. Mood

2. Experience

3. Personality

4. Cognitive ability

5. Overconfidence

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