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Learn the Art of Logic and Persuasion (Collection) by Leigh Thompson, Jonathan Herring

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Truth 28. The anchoring principle

In one investigation, people were asked to guess how many African countries are in the United Nations.11 Most people don’t know the answer to this question without doing a Google search, so they guess. In this particular study, people were standing in front of a wheel of fortune. Half of the time, the researcher spun the wheel of fortune, and it landed on a high number (such as 100); the other half of the time, the number was much lower (such as 10). How did the random wheel-of-fortune number affect people’s judgments about the number of African countries in the United Nations? Even though it is illogical for a random number to have anything to do with making this guess, it strongly affected people’s judgments. ...

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