What Is an Example of an Anchoring and Adjustment Heuristic?

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An example of an anchoring and adjustment heuristic is when a person with high-value numbers bids higher on items with unknown value after being asked to write their numbers compared to people who had low-value numbers to write. This example was described in a study by researcher Dan Ariely.

An anchoring and adjustment heuristic is a psychological rule that affects decision-making, specifically in individuals who are assessing probability. People who start with a higher reference point or anchor, such as exposure to a higher-value number, often adjust their probability assessments accordingly in the same direction. They may approximate their answer and then continue to adjust based on other information given, but they are still influenced by the initial anchoring point.