Hazard Perception and Anchoring: A Comparison of the Three Models Explaining the Anchoring Effect
Kazuhisa Nagaya and Kazuya Nakayachi
1-3 Tatara Miyakodani, Kyotanabe, Kyoto 610-0394, Japan
When individuals estimate something numerically, their estimation tends to be close to a value perceived beforehand, called an anchor. This tendency is called “the anchoring effect.” We introduce three hypotheses – the numeric priming hypothesis, the semantic priming hypothesis, and the magnitude priming hypothesis – that explain the anchoring effect. We apply them to participants’ estimation of the number of sufferers in order to examine which model explains the anchoring effect best. Experimental results support the numeric priming hypothesis, indicating that the anchoring effect occurs even when no semantic relatedness exists between the number presented as the prime and the successive numerical estimation. Implications for disaster risk communication are discussed based on the results we obtained.
-  C. Keller, M. Siegrist, and H. Gutscher, “The role of the affect and availability heuristics in risk communication,” Risk Anal., Vol.26, pp. 631-639, 2006.
-  M. Siegrist and H. Gutscher, “Natural hazards and motivation for mitigation behavior: people cannot predict the affect evoked by a severe flood,” Risk Anal., Vol.28, pp. 771-778, 2008.
-  A. Wildavsky, “No risk is the highest risk of all,” American Scientist, Vol.67, pp. 32-37, 1979.
-  J. D. Graham and J. B. Wiener, “Risk vs. risk: Tradeoffs in protecting health and the environment,” Harvard University Press, 1995.
-  D. Kahneman, P. Slovic, and A. Tversky (Eds.), “Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases,” Cambridge University Press, 1982.
-  A. Tversky, and D. Kahneman, “Availability: A heuristic for judging frequency and probability,” In D. Kahneman, P. Slovic, & A. Tversky (Eds.), “Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases,” Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 163-189, 1982.
-  C. MacLeod and L. Campbell, “Memory accessibility and probability judgments: An experimental evaluation of the availability heuristic,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol.63, pp. 890-902, 1992.
-  D. Kahneman and A. Tversky, “Subjective probability: A judgment of representativeness,” Cognitive Psychology, Vol.3, pp. 430-454, 1972.
-  A. Tversky and D. Kahneman, “Belief in the law of small numbers,” Psychological Bulletin, Vol.76, pp. 105-110, 1971.
-  M. L. Finucane, A. Alhakami, P. Slovic, and S. M. Johnson, “The affect heuristic in judgments of risks and benefits,” J. of Behavioral Decision Making, Vol.13, pp. 1-17, 2000.
-  P. Slovic, M. Finucane, E. Peters, and D. G. MacGregor, “The affect heuristic,” In T. Gilovich, D. Griffin, and D. Kahneman, (Eds.), “Heuristics and biases: The psychology of intuitive judgment,” Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 397-420, 2002.
-  A. Tversky and D. Kahneman, “Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases,” Science, Vol.185, pp. 1124-1131, 1974.
-  A. Furnham and H. C. Boo, “A literature review of the anchoring effect,” J. of Socio-Economics, Vol.40, pp. 35-42, 2011.
-  S. Lichtenstein, P. Slovic, B. Fischhoff, M. Layman, and B. Combs, “Judged frequency of lethal events,” J. of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, Vol.4, pp. 551-578, 1978.
-  S. E. Spedden and P. B. Ryan, “Probabilistic connotations of carcinogen hazard classifications: Analysis of survey data for anchoring effects,” Risk Anal., Vol.12, pp. 535-541, 1992.
-  J. Costa-Font, C. Rudisill, and E. Mossialos, “Attitudes as an expression of knowledge and “political anchoring”: The case of nuclear power in the United Kingdom,” Risk Anal., Vol.28, pp. 1273-1288, 2008.
-  S. Oki and K. Nakayachi, “Paradoxical effects of the record-high tsunamis caused by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake on public judgments of danger,” Intl. J. of Disaster Risk Reduction, Vol.2, pp. 37-45, 2012.
-  T. D. Wilson, C. E. Houston, K. M. Etling, and N. Brekke, “A new look at anchoring effects: Basic anchoring and its antecedents,” J. of Experimental Psychology, Vol.125, pp. 387-402, 1996.
-  N. T. Brewer and G. B. Chapman, “The fragile basic anchoring effect,” J. of Behavioral Decision Making, Vol.15, pp. 65-77, 2002.
-  C. Critcher and T. Gilovich, “Incidental environmental anchors,” J. of Behavioral Decision Making, Vol.21, pp. 241-251. 2008.
-  D. Ariely, G. Loewenstein, and D. Prelec, “Coherent arbitrariness” : Stable demand curves without stable preferences,” The Quarterly J. of Economics, Vol.118, pp. 73-106, 2003.
-  K. F. E. Wong and J. Y. Y. Kwong, “Is 7300 m equal to 7.3 km? Same semantics but different anchoring effects,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Vol.82, pp. 314-333, 2000.
-  T. Mussweiler and F. Strack, “Comparing is believing: A selective accessibility model of judgmental anchoring,” European Review of Social Psychology, Vol.10, pp. 135-167, 1999.
-  F. Strack and T. Mussweiler, “Explaining the enigmatic anchoring effect: Mechanisms of selective accessibility,” J. of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol.73, pp. 437-446, 1997.
-  T. Mussweiler and F. Strack, “Hypothesis-consistent testing and semantic priming in the anchoring paradigm: A selective accessibility model,” J. of Experimental Social Psychology, Vol.35, pp. 136-164, 1999.
-  D. M. Oppenheimer, R. A. LeBoeuf, and N. T. Brewer, “Anchors aweigh: A demonstration of cross-modality anchoring and magnitude priming,” Cognition, Vol.106, pp. 13-26, 2008.
-  D. Sleeth-Keppler, “Taking the high (or low) road: A quantifier priming perspective on basic anchoring effects,” J. of Social Psychology, Vol.153, pp. 424-447, 2013.
-  National Research Council, “Improving risk communication,” National Academy Press, 1989.
-  Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), “An proposal for the voluntary and continuous improvement of nuclear safety,” 2014, http://www.meti.go.jp/committee/sougouenergy/denryokutextunderscore gas/ genshiryoku/anzentextunderscore wg/pdf/report02textunderscore 01.pdf [accessed April. 19, 2015]
-  A. Chernev, “Semantic anchoring in sequential evaluations of vices and virtues,” J. of Consumer Research, Vol.37, pp. 761-774, 2011.
-  S. Epstein, “Integration of the cognitive and the psychodynamic unconscious,” American Psychologist, Vol.49, pp. 709-724, 1994.
-  S. A. Sloman, “The empirical case for two systems of reasoning,” Psychological Bulletin, Vol.119, pp. 3-22, 1996.
-  K. E. Stanovich and R. F. West, “Individual differences in reasoning: Implications for the rationality debate?” In T. Gilovich, D. Griffin, and D. Kahneman (Eds.), “Heuristics and biases: The psychology of intuitive judgment,” Cambridge University Press, pp. 421-444, 2002.
-  ISO, ISO31000:2009 “Risk management – Principles and guidelines,” 2009.
-  E. Watamura, T. Wakebe, and M. Saeki, “Experimental verification of the anchoring effect of a punishment reference histogram,” Japanese Society of Social Psychology, Vol.30, pp. 11-20, 2014.
-  R. Kanda, “Risk Communication in the field of radiation,” J. of Disaster Research, Vol.9, No.sp, pp. 608-618, 2014.
-  K. Nakayachi, “Toward mitigating actions: Risk communication regarding natural disaster,” J. of Disaster Research, Vol.9, No.sp, pp. 638-643, 2014.
-  P. Bubeck, W. J. W. Botzen, and J. C. J. H. Aerts, “A review of risk perceptions and other factors that influence flood mitigation behavior,” Risk Anal., Vol.32, pp. 1481-1495, 2012.
-  G. Wachinger, O. Renn, C. Begg, and C. Kuhlicke, “The risk perception paradox -implications for governance and communication of natural hazards,” Risk Anal., Vol.33, pp. 1049-1065, 2013.
-  N. D. Weinstein, “Optimistic biases about personal risks,” Science, Vol.24, pp. 1232-1233, 1989.