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A Tale of Tuned Decks? Anchoring as Accessibility and Anchoring as Adjustment

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... It should be noted that basic research on debiasing suggests that once a bias is established, it can be very persistent (Epley, 2004). This is attested to by research on debiasing, that is, research on how to reduce the biasing effects of anchors. ...
... This is attested to by research on debiasing, that is, research on how to reduce the biasing effects of anchors. This research has shown that many methods that reduce the detrimental effects of other biases seem ineffective at reducing anchoring effects (Epley, 2004). Ineffective debiasing methods for anchors include explicit warnings, domain expertise, and incentives to increase effortful thought (Wilson et al., 1996;Wright & Anderson, 1989;Epley & Gilovich, 2006). ...
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We framed crime victims as lucky, through downward counterfactual comparisons, and tested this “luck framing” influence on observers’ judgments of the victims. Victims framed as lucky and aware (Experiment 1) or unaware (Experiment 3) of their luck were rated as in need of less social support than victims who were not framed as lucky. This luck framing effect generalized to victim compensation: lucky aware victims were rated as deserving of less compensation compared to unlucky victims (Experiment 2). In contrast, luck framing of victims had little influence on observers’ judgments of the severity of the sentence a perpetrator should receive (Experiment 4). Taken together, for crime victims it can be bad to be thought of as lucky.
... This is an example of inductive inference. People use inductive inference to reason about similar intuitive cognitive phenomena such as affective forecasting (D. T. Gilbert et al., 2002), judgmental anchoring (Epley, 2004), anthropomorphism (Epley et al., 2007), and various social biases . The inductive inference process involves interpreting data from mental simulations, verbal reports, and behavioral observations within a known framework of accessible theories and hypotheses (Higgins, 1996). ...
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Humans default to functions and purposes when asked to explain the existence of mysterious phenomena. Our penchant for teleological reasoning is associated with good outcomes, such as finding meaning in misfortune, but also with bad outcomes, such as dangerous conspiracy theories and misunderstood scientific ideas, both of which pose important social and health problems. Psychological research into the teleological default has long alluded to Daniel Dennett’s intentional-systems theory but has not fully engaged with the three intellectual stances at its core (intentional, design, physical). This article distinguishes the intentional stance from the design stance, which untangles some of the present knots in theories of teleology, accounts for diverse forms of teleology, and enhances predictions of when teleological reasoning is more likely to occur. This article examines the evidence for a teleological default considering Dennett’s intentional-systems theory, proposes a process model, and clarifies current theoretical debates. It argues that people rationally and often thoughtfully use teleological reasoning in relation to both cognitive and social psychological factors. Implications for theory and future research are discussed.
... This is an example of inductive inference. People use inductive inference to reason about similar intuitive cognitive phenomena such as affective forecasting (D. T. Gilbert et al., 2002), judgmental anchoring (Epley, 2004), anthropomorphism (Epley et al., 2007), and various social biases (Epley, Keysar, Van Boven, & Gilovich, 2004a). The inductive inference process involves interpreting data from mental simulations, verbal reports, and behavioral observations within a known framework of accessible theories and hypotheses (Higgins, 1996). ...
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Humans default to functions and purposes when asked to explain the existence of mysterious phenomena. Our penchant for teleological reasoning is associated with good outcomes such as finding meaning in misfortune, but also with bad outcomes such as dangerous conspiracy theories and misunderstood scientific ideas, both of which pose important social and health problems. Psychological research into the teleological default has long alluded to Daniel Dennett's intentional systems theory but has not fully engaged with the three intellectual stances at its core (intentional, design, physical). This article distinguishes the intentional stance from the design stance, which untangles some of the present knots in theories of teleology, accounts for diverse forms of teleology, and enhances predictions of when teleological reasoning is more likely to occur. This article reviews the evidence for a teleological default in light of Dennett’s intentional systems theory, proposes a process model, and clarifies current theoretical debates, ultimately suggesting that individuals rationally and often thoughtfully use teleological reasoning in relation to both cognitive and social psychological factors. Implications for theory and future research are discussed.
... While participants in the bonus information treatment were also told of the potential cost savings from switching, having received the $50 payment, they may have come to be strongly influenced by that amount in valuing the cost of switching; hence, discounting the true benefits of further search activity. There is much evidence of anchoring, even over goods and services that people have experience consuming (see Epley, 2004 for a review). Several studies, including a recent Government Report into the energy sector in Victoria (Thwaites et al., 2017), have noted that people are inexperienced consumers of energy; i.e., they are unfamiliar with the decision environment and that this is exacerbated by the complexity of the exercise. ...
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We conduct an online randomized controlled experiment in Australia in order to examine whether government initiatives to encourage the use of energy comparison sites increase consumer search and result in lower prices. Despite significant price variations across energy retailers, our experiment indicates that while providing information about the potential gains from using the government-owned Victoria Energy Compare (VEC) website encourages participants to visit the website, it is not effective in inducing them to contact, or switch, retailers who are providing better offers. Moreover, low-income individuals who visited the VEC website due to the availability of a $50 bonus are less likely to contact retailers for a better deal in order to switch retailers, and end up paying a higher cost of per unit kWh electricity and spending more on total electricity expenditure. Our findings imply that promoting government-initiated comparison sites is not sufficient to increase competition and that providing consumers with financial incentives for using these sites in order to encourage competition and improve outcomes of the energy poor may potentially backfire.
... the pattern of responses is interesting, especially when considering the scale on which participants reported. That the scale provided was from 0 to 1000 names suggests the potential for participants' anchoring between 30-50% of the scale (Scheck, Meeter, & Nelson, 2004; see also Hertzog, Saylor, Fleece, & Dixon, 1994), perhaps taking the anchor as a hint about how to respond (Epley, 2004). Future studies can assess under what conditions younger and older adults' metacognitive awareness are affected by the scale on which they report. ...
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People see themselves as better than average in many domains, from leadership skills to driving ability. However, many people-especially older adults-struggle to remember others' names, and many of us are aware of this struggle. Our beliefs about our memory for names may be different from other information; perhaps forgetting names is particularly salient. We asked younger and older adults to rate themselves compared with others their age on several socially desirable traits (e.g., honesty); their overall memory ability; and their specific ability to remember scientific terms, locations, and people's names. Participants demonstrated a better-than-average (BTA) effect in their ratings of most items except their ability to remember names, which both groups rated as approximately the same as others their age. Older adults' ratings of this ability were related to a measure of the social consequences of forgetting another's name, but younger adults' ratings were not. The BTA effect is present in many judgments for both younger and older adults, but people may be more attuned to memory failures when those failures involve social consequences. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
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Subjective expectation data on education has been increasingly used by social scientists to better understand current investments in human capital. Despite its recognised value by scholars, there is little evidence about how the elicitation of such data might be sensitive to questionnaire design. Using a 2x2 between-subjects experimental design, we analyse how sensitive the elicitation of subjective expectation data on educational outcomes is to anchors. Our study provides causal evidence on whether collecting data on parental education before the elicitation of parental expectations on their children’s educational outcomes anchors the elicitation of the latter; and whether parental expectations on their older offsprings anchors their expectations on their younger children. We find that mothers (main respondents) who have been exposed to the anchored treatments report more pessimistic parental expectations. When splitting our sample into low and high educated mothers, we find that low educated mothers who have been allocated to anchored treatments are more likely to report lower levels of education than those in the non-anchored treatment. Anchored treatments also increase non-response in both high and low educated mothers, however, the effect is larger on the former. When assessing the accuracy of expectations to predict educational outcomes, we observe that anchored expectations have higher predictive power. Our findings inform to what extent the collection of subjective expectations data is subject to anchoring and which type of elicitation (anchored or non-anchored) should be considered according to the main purpose of the elicitation (i.e., item response vs prediction).
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Abstract This study aims to understand the use of the anchoring effect as a manipulation tool and irrationality of consumers in stores. In terms of methodological purpose, this study, designed with the perspective of the realist approach of postmodern science, aims to make not only theoretical but also practical contribution to merchandising. In this study using an experimental method, participants were asked to charge the same products. The products for which the participants are priced consist of 5 clothes, the first of them is higher priced and quality; following four products are low-priced and poor quality clothing. While only the first product had a price tag in the experimental group, all products in the control group were presented without a price tag. The experimental group exposed to anchoring charged 390.31% higher –ready to pay- prices for the same products compared to the control group. Moreover, they charged an average of 192.13 TL for products with a market price of 10-20 TL. While these findings show that consumers who are exposed to manipulative anchoring can be more irrational, at the same time, the thinking time of the participants while determining prices was measured and secondary inferences were made accordingly. In this context, while finding a negative correlation between the price cchahrged to the products and the thinking time, using an anchor as a manipulation tool reduces the thinking times. These findings show that anchoring can be used as a manipulation tool. While this study is one of the pioneering studies that uses anchoring theory intensively in the field of merchandising, it is a special study in terms of measuring the use of anchors as a manipulation tool. On the other hand, the research, which is applied by an experimental method, carries the harmony of theory-practice and takes into account the time variable, and carries originality and importance in the field of merchandising. Keywords: Merchandising, Anchoring Theory, Anchors, Consumer Behaviours, Manipulating Consumers, Manipulations, Pricing, Store Design. Öz Bu çalışma bir manipülasyon aracı olarak çıpalama etkisinin mağazalarda kullanımını ve tüketicilerin irrasyonalitesini anlamayı amaçlamaktadır. Yöntemsel olarak ise Postmodern bilimin Realist Yaklaşım’ı çerçevesinde tasarlanan çalışmada merchandising alanına sadece teorik değil, pratik bir katkı yapmak da amaçlanmıştır. Deneysel bir yöntem kullanan araştırmada katılımcılardan ürünlere fiyat biçmesi istenmiştir. Fiyatlanan ürünler beş kıyafetten oluşmaktadır. Bunlardan ilk sırada yer alan ürün yüksek fiyat ve kaliteye sahipken sonraki ürünler düşük fiyat ve kaliteli ürünlerden oluşmaktadır. Deney grubunda ilk ürünün fiyat etiketi varken diğerlerinde fiyat etiketi bulunmamaktadır. Kontrol grubunda ise hiçbir üründe fiyat etiketi bulunmamaktadır. Çıpalamaya maruz kalan deney grubu aynı ürünlere deney grubuna gore %390,31 daha yüksek bir ödemeye hazır oldukları fiyatı biçmişlerdir. Buna ek olarak piyasa fiyatı 10-20 TL arasında değişen düşük kaliteli ürünlere de ortalama 192,13 TL fiyat biçmişlerdir. Bu bulgular bir çıpalama aracı olarak kullanılan fiyat etiketinin tüketicileri daha irrasyonel olmaya yönelttiği tespit edilirken katılımcıların ürünlere fiyat biçmek için kullandıkları süreler de ölçülmüş ve buna bağlı olarak tali bulgular üzerinden tartışma yapılmıştır. Bu bağlamda ürünlere biçilen fiyat ile düşünme süreleri arasında negatif korelasyon tespit edilirken çıpanın bir manipülasyon aracı olarak kullanılması düşünme sürelerini düşürmektedir. Bu bulgular çıpalamanın bir manipülasyon aracı olarak kullanılabildiğini göstermektedir. Bu çalışma, merchandising alanında Çıpalama Teorisini yoğun bir şekilde kullanan öncü çalışmalardan biri iken, çıpaların manipülasyon aracı olarak kullanımının ölçülmesi açısından da özel bir çalışmadır. Öte yandan deneysel bir yöntem uygulanan araştırma teori-pratik uyumunu taşımakla birlikte süre değişkenini de dikkate almasıyla merchandising alanında özgünlük ve önem taşımaktadır. Anahtar Kelimeler: Merchandising, Çıpalama Teorisi, Çıpalama, Tüketici Davranışları, Manipülasyon, Tüketici Manipülasyonu, Fiyatlandırma, Mağaza Tasarımı
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