On how anchors influence us (even when they bear no relationship to the estimated value)

πŸ’Ž On how anchors influence us (even when they bear no relationship to the estimated value)

Surprisingly, anchors influence us even when they bear no relationship to the estimated value, and even when they’re patently absurd. Following the seminal experiments of Kahneman and Tversky in the 1970s, two German researchers named Thomas Mussweiler and Fritz Strack demonstrated this effect with remarkable creativity. In one of their experiments, they divided their subjects into two groups, asking one group whether Mahatma Gandhi was over or under 140 years old when he died, and the other whether he was over or under 9 years old when he died. Obviously, no one had trouble answering these questions. But when the respondents were then asked to estimate Gandhi’s age at death, these clearly ridiculous β€œanchors” made a difference: the group anchored on 140 thought, on average, that Gandhi had died at age 67, whereas the group anchored on 9 believed he had died at age 50. (Actually, Gandhi died at age 78.)

Excerpt from: You’re About to Make a Terrible Mistake!: How Biases Distort Decision-Making and What You Can Do to Fight Them by Olivier Sibony

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