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Variations on anchoring  /

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Category: Communication

Description: The anchoring effect, the assimilation of judgment toward a previously considered value, has been shown using various experimental paradigms. We used several variations of the sequential anchoring paradigm, in which a numeric estimate influences a subsequent numeric estimate on the same scale, to investigate how anchoring is influenced by multiple anchors, a comparison question, and by a newly introduced debiasing procedure. We replicated the anchoring effect using the sequential anchoring paradigm and showed that, when two anchors of opposite directions are presented, both influence a subsequent judgment. A comparison of a target with another object was not sufficient to elicit anchoring, but it increased the sequential anchoring effect. The debiasing procedure, based on providing reference points on the number scale, prevented the sequential anchoring effect. The results are possible to interpret in light of the selective accessibility model and scale distortion theory of anchoring, but both theories may need some adjustments to account for all the observed findings.

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