Individual Differences in Anchoring Effect: Evidence for the Role of Insufficient Adjustment


  • Predrag Teovanović


Although the anchoring effect is one of the most reliable results of experimental psychology, researchers have only recently begun to examine the role of individual differences in susceptibility to this cognitive bias. Yet, first correlational studies yielded inconsistent results, failing to identify any predictors that have a systematic effect on anchored decisions. The present research seeks to remedy methodological shortcomings of foregoing research by employing modified within-subject anchoring procedure. Results confirmed the robustness of phenomenon in extended paradigm and replicated previous findings on anchor’s direction and distance as significant experimental factors of the anchoring effect size. Obtained measures of individual differences in susceptibility to anchoring were fairly reliable but shared only small portion of variability with intelligence, cognitive reflection, and basic personality traits. However, in a group of more reflective subjects, substantial negative correlation between intelligence and anchoring was detected. This finding indicates that, at least for some subjects, effortful cognitive process of adjustment plays role in the emergence of the anchoring effect, which is in line with expectations of dual-process theories of human reasoning.