The Role of Context-Driven Response Bias on the Standard Anchoring Effect

  • Author / Creator
    Tam, Cory
  • Anchoring is judgmental bias in which quantitative estimates assimilate to seemingly irrelevant numerical reference values (Tversky & Kahneman, 1974). While Tversky and Kahneman (1974) originally proposed that anchoring results from the application of a deliberate anchoring-and-adjustment heuristic, other researchers have stressed the role of automatic processes with the introduction of priming-based accounts (Mussweiler & Strack, 1999). In this paper, we present a new perspective on anchoring called consistency theory. On this view, people first determine whether the true target value is above or below the anchor value, and then they provide an estimate that is consistent with the “Greater” or “Less” judgment. Differing from the selective accessibility account, consistency theory assumes that people can be affected by factors such as the response format of the initial comparative judgment. As predicted, we obtained context effects—participants’ judgments of target items were influenced by their judgments of filler items. That is, participants responded “Greater” more often for the target items when they had made fewer “Greater” judgments for the fillers items, and vice versa. Overall, these findings suggest that people can interact with numerical information in a number of different ways, which challenges the view that anchoring is driven by automatic, activation-based processes.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Psychology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Brown, Norman (Psychology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Singhal, Anthony (Psychology)
    • Dixon, Peter (Psychology)
    • Moore, Sarah (Faculty of Business)