“Independent thinking” biased by the sinking anchor

In 1974, Kahneman and Tversky, professors of psychology at the Hebrew University, conducted an experiment. The experiment asked volunteers to estimate the percentage of seats held by African countries in the United Nations.

First, they randomly gave each group of volunteers a percentage number. Then, they hinted to the volunteers one by one that this random number was larger or smaller than the real number. Finally, the volunteers are asked to estimate a true figure.

What’s interesting is that the numbers that the volunteers finally estimated are all affected by the random numbers at the beginning. For example, two groups of volunteers received random numbers of 10% and 65%, and their final estimates were 25% and 45%, which are very close to the random numbers that these two groups of volunteers got at the beginning.

This experiment by Kahneman and Tversky is to verify the “anchor sinking effect” they previously proposed. This theory believes that before people make decisions, their thinking is often swayed by the first information they get, and the first information will be like an anchor sinking into the bottom of the sea, fixing your thinking somewhere, resulting in a preconceived and distorted understanding. .

For example, volunteers know that the numbers they get at the beginning are random and have nothing to do with the real numbers, but when estimating the real numbers, they still subconsciously anchor their estimates within a certain range of random numbers.

It is called the “sinking anchor” because this anchor is buried in the depths of consciousness. Many people do not even realize that they have been buried in the anchor, thinking that they have made decisions through independent thinking. In fact, Has been unknowingly misled by various preconceived information.

There is a very famous story about a small sandwich shop with two sales clerks, one of which always has a higher turnover than the other. You know, when buying fast food, customers generally choose the salesperson at random, and even the salesperson with a smaller queue. Therefore, no matter how many salespersons there are, in theory, their turnover should not be too different.

This phenomenon caught the boss’s attention. So, one day, he deliberately stood at the counter to observe, and then found that whenever a customer orders a meal, one of the salespersons would ask him: “Do I need to add an omelet?” The customer said yes or no Plus, the ratio is basically 1:1. Another salesperson asked: “Excuse me, do I need to add one fried egg or two fried eggs?” At this time, at least 70% of customers will subconsciously answer “add one” or “add two”, only 30% The customer requested “no eggs”.

Naturally, the turnover of the latter salesperson is much higher than that of the previous salesperson.

This is a typical application of the “anchor sinking effect”. The latter salesperson succeeded in planting a “sink anchor” before the customer made a decision-he wanted to fry eggs. Therefore, the customer’s thinking range was anchored on the “need a few eggs”, only a few people would It occurred to him that he still had a third option-no eggs.

Of course, thinking anchoring is a person’s psychological reaction, and it is never easy to overcome it completely. When we think about problems, we always receive a lot of information unconsciously, thus forming a certain thinking paradigm. On the one hand, this information helps us to think, and on the other hand, it is very likely to become a kind of “sink anchor”. Set our thinking.

So, how to avoid or reduce the “anchor sinking effect”? First of all, you need to broaden your horizons as much as possible, keep learning and practice, brainstorming, and listen to other people’s suggestions and methods. The so-called “preconceptions”, in the final analysis, is that the amount of information received is too small.

The human brain is very peculiar. The less information it processes, the weaker its ability to distinguish information. On the contrary, when processing massive amounts of information, the brain will run at high speed to determine which information is valuable and which are meaningless “sink anchors.”

For example, when meeting someone for the first time, we can completely ignore the words we heard about this person and use our own eyes to make judgments, or we can collect a lot of information about this person in advance to assist The judgment of the person at the meeting. The same is true for things. When you encounter an event, you either completely ignore the previous information, analyze the nature of the matter on the spot and then make a decision, or you brainstorm and think deeply and comprehensively.

All in all, there are two important methods to avoid “anchor sinking”: one is to completely ignore all previous information and eliminate the hidden danger of “anchor sinking”-but this is actually difficult to do; the second is to collect a large amount of information and analyze it comprehensively. Question, finally make a rational judgment to minimize the impact of the “sinking anchor”.