Precision of the anchor influences the amount of adjustment

Psychol Sci. 2008 Feb;19(2):121-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02057.x.


The anchoring-and-adjustment heuristic has been used to account for a wide variety of numerical judgments. Five studies show that adjustment away from a numerical anchor is smaller if the anchor is precise than if it is rounded. Evidence suggests that precise anchors, compared with rounded anchors, are represented on a subjective scale with a finer resolution. If adjustment consists of a series of iterative mental movements along a subjective scale, then an adjustment from a precise anchor should result in a smaller overall correction than an adjustment from a rounded anchor.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Judgment*
  • Mathematics*