Multiple anchors and the MOLE: Benefits for elicitation

AbstractAnchoring is a well-known, robust effect causing estimates to be biased towards previously seen values – regardless of their relevance. Reducing anchoring bias is important for optimizing estimation. Herein, we tested the MOLE (More-Or-Less Elicitation) tool’s ability to limit the impact of anchors on estimates. In a direct elicitation task, 62 participants’ best estimates correlated with anchor values at 0.27 whereas, when using the MOLE, this relationship disappeared (r = .02). Results also showed, however, that expertise reduces the impact of anchoring (r = -0.46). We conclude that use of the MOLE assists in avoiding anchoring and that this will be most helpful in areas of high uncertainty.

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