Lost in Numbers? Anchoring Effects in Advertising Claims and Product Information

Date

2015-09-08

Advisors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

ISSN

DOI

Volume Title

Publisher

British Academy of Management

Type

Conference

Peer reviewed

Yes

Abstract

According to anchoring theory, if unsure, human beings are predisposed to treat the first information they see as a starting point when making a judgement. This, often sub-conscious process, means random information can influence decisions in ways consumers are often unaware of. This paper tests this principle in advertising contexts to understand how anchoring may affect the way consumers interpret numbers within marketing messages. The results support the semantic priming and semantic anchoring models, which predict that random numbers will bias estimates when the wording of the ‘anchor’ is similar to the object of the estimate. We present evidence that this is the case even when the information is not directly relevant to the task. Contrastingly, no evidence is found to support the ‘simple numeric priming’ view of anchoring, which predicts that entirely abstract information can bias estimates.

Description

The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version.

Keywords

anchoring theory, advertising, priming, behavioural economics

Citation

Conaty, R. J. and Dalziel, N. (2015) Lost in Numbers? Anchoring Effects in Advertising Claims and Product Information. In: Proceedings of British Academy of Management Conference (BAM2015), University of Portsmouth, 8-10 September 2015.

Rights

Research Institute