Title: The effects on anchoring of increasing quantities of disconfirming evidence

Authors: Tom Downen; Zhan Furner; Bryan Cataldi

Addresses: Cameron School of Business, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, NC 28403, USA ' College of Business, East Carolina University, 318 Slay Hall, Greenville, NC 27858, USA ' Lacy School of Business, Butler University, 4600 Sunset Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46208, USA

Abstract: Anchoring has been shown to influence judgements in a wide variety of contexts, often in a dysfunctional manner (particularly when anchors are deemed unreliable). Identifying methods for mitigating the effects of anchors is important. Our experimental study utilises three abstract settings and arbitrary anchor values. We find strong anchoring effects in initial judgements. Providing disconfirming evidence of moderate helpfulness does, however, reduce the anchoring effects. Specifically, providing one or two items of disconfirming information is shown to have significant incremental benefits in reducing or even eliminating anchoring effects. However, surprisingly, providing three items of disconfirming information, in our setting, did not further reduce anchoring, suggesting some diminishing effect of additional evidence. This is consistent with prior research suggesting that individuals adjust until they are 'close enough', and then stop considering additional information. Our results have implications for a wide variety of judgement contexts, and the results are encouraging in suggesting that a relatively small quantity of disconfirming evidence could be sufficient for overcoming anchoring.

Keywords: anchoring; overcoming anchoring; adjustment; judgement; decision making; disconfirming information; information quantity; diminishing effect.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMDM.2019.10017995

International Journal of Management and Decision Making, 2019 Vol.18 No.3, pp.309 - 331

Received: 04 Jun 2018
Accepted: 09 Oct 2018

Published online: 03 Apr 2019 *

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