Change Psychology: Anchoring and Adjustment Heuristic

recently wrote about building up a resource for Change knowledge here within this very Blog. Finally I got the time to deal with some basic psychological questions of Change. I am looking forward to be able to share those insights on “Change Psychology” with you, here.

We tend to base estimates and decisions on known ‘anchors’ or familiar positions, with an adjustment relative to this start point. We are better at relative thinking than absolute thinking.
The Primacy Effect and anchoring may combine, for example if a list of possible sentences given to a jury, they will be anchored by the first option.

If asked whether the population of Turkey was greater or less than 30 million, you might give one or other answer. If then asked what you thought the actual population was, you would very likely guess somewhere around 30 million, because you have been anchored by the previous answer.

Using it
If a negotiation starts with one party suggesting a price or condition, then the other party is likely to base their counter-offer relative to this given anchor. So start a good way from your real position (but beware of over-doing this). When giving choices, put the ones you want them to choose at the beginning.

If the other person makes the first bid, do not assume that this is close to their final price.

Psychology of Change (Picture source:
Original article taken from

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