is a cognitive bias that describes the tendency for an individual to rely too heavily on an initial piece of information offered (known as the “anchor”) when making decisions.
The Gandhi Anchoring Study
Researchers split a bunch of people into two groups, and then asked them to estimate the age of the the famous activist Mahatma Gandhi. Each group was asked the question in a different way (or with a different anchor.)
The first group were asked: “Did Gandhi die before or after the age of 9?”. This groups average answer was 50 years old.
The second group were asked: “Did Gandhi die before or after the age of 140?”. This groups average answer was 67 years old.
Even though the anchor age numbers were outrageously high and low, the two groups still guessed significantly differently. The different ways the question was asked significantly affected their answers!
Anchoring And Pricing
Retailers love to use anchoring to affect a consumers reaction to their prices. See these two price tags below… Which of these appears to be a more appealing purchase?