Day#295: The Anchoring Bias

Day#295: The Anchoring Bias

Hey Researchers & Designers and for today I want to go through 12 Cognitive Biases that I found in this very interesting video. For those that like reading, I have summarized the key points made in the video, and have some extra references within each topic. I have broken it up into one Bias per post, enjoy!

1. Anchoring bias (0:27)

  • The first thing you hear has an effect on the perception you have of something
  • Youtuber uses a scenario where you go to look at a car, and see the car for $30 000. Then when you come back, and the price is different, it naturally seems like a good deal

Other resources on the Anchoring Bias


An interesting quote from the article above discussing the Anchor Bias

“Anchoring bias is dangerous yet prolific in the markets. Anchoring, or rather the degree of anchoring, is going to be heavily determined by how salient the anchor is. The more relevant the anchor seems, the more people tend to cling to it. Also, the more difficult it is to value something, the more we tend to rely on anchors.”


Relation to UX

This can range from understanding how to create online platforms where sales tactics can be used. As well as when dealing with stakeholders, an idea can form whether it be on a proposed budget or timeline and then once changed can have the Anchoring effect. I have often experienced this with time being the variable in this instance, stakeholders may expect feedback or testing to be done in a certain amount of time and be eager for feedback, however testing and compiling data to provide useful feedback is not a fixed amount of time. It is dependent on the type of testing, what is being tested, the various locations of testings and how many participants are being tested. After all that the Researcher in question still needs to go through all the information and find patterns as well as potential solutions. This may be a preference for some, but I think it just softens the blow when presenting all the things going wrong to present on potential solutions. As stated above the Anchoring Bias is generally used when people cant put an accurate value on something, and people are generally not sure on time and may base it on one project you did in the past. Or another team that worked on something with research involved, created the Anchor when they established their timeline for the project etc.

Another Anchor could be based on outcomes and solutions, Stakeholders could have had one particular outcome from testing with one particular group of Users. Then they could expect the same results when testing with a different group, people have different behaviors, experiences likes and dislikes and outcomes can vary so vastly from one User group to another..

It is your job as the Researcher or the Designer to be able to estimate on project times and be aware of these types of Biases. Once you are aware you can treat it for what it is, a behavioral pattern and not something personal, you can then look at ways to avoid it.. Happy researching until next time Uxers, before you go, check out the video where I initially found all these Biases.

Bye for now!

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