Individual differences in anchoring: numerical ability, education and experience


Anchoring is a well-known effect leading to bias in estimation in various decision-making contexts. A question, however, is whether individuals with greater numerical and academic ability would be less prone to this effect than others because of greater ability to discern the value being estimated. In light of growing interest in the role of individual differences in bias susceptibility, anchoring was examined in a simulated poker-like card game, using people with varying levels of academic achievement and psychometric reasoning scores. The results showed that anchoring susceptibility was unrelated to education levels, but negatively associated with numerical reasoning and cognitive reflection scores. This result, however, was mediated by task expertise because participants with higher cognitive abilities were those more likely to display improvements in anchoring performance over the course of the experiment.

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