It's a sale...it's a discount...it's Anchoring!

Updated: Jul 27, 2018


Has this ever been you?


Picture this.


You’re at your local grocery store and need to purchase two greenhouse tomatoes for dinner. You head to the produce section and see that greenhouse tomatoes are selling for the steep price of $2.20 each! When did tomatoes get so expensive? Thankfully, you notice a sign that says that greenhouse tomatoes are 30% off when you buy four. With a sale like this you can certainly find a use for two more tomatoes, right? You pick four to take home.

Why were you lured in by a ‘sale’ price that actually made you spend more?


The answer - Anchoring. Anchoring occurs when we make a decision or evaluation based on the first piece of information we receive. It’s like looking at a new Audi Q3 listed for $36,000. When you negotiate down to $33,500, you feel like you’re getting a sweet deal in comparison to the listed price. In reality, the dealership expected you to negotiate down. Heck, they would have gone down to $32,000! Who exactly is getting a good deal now?


Avoid becoming the victim of biases like Anchoring by training your brain! Ask yourself, are you making a decision based on the first piece of information at hand? What could this cost you? By pausing to consider the outcomes of unconscious actions, you’ll give yourself a better chance of overcoming biases like Anchoring Bias.


Consider this:


How might Anchoring Bias apply to people and the selection of talent?


What types of information might “anchor” you when it come to decisions and judgments about people?



Questions to Spark Group Conversations


1) Recall a time you fell victim to Anchoring Bias. Are you able to see that your brain took a mental shortcut? Now that you know about mindful engagement, how will you react the next time a similar situation occurs?


2) Think of your organization or an organization you've been a part of, how can/does Anchoring Bias impact issues of inclusion and diversity?


3) Using Anchoring Bias as an example, how would you teach others about mindful engagement?



Remember, be less certain and be more curious!

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