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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02567

Anchoring-and-Adjustment during Affect Inferences

  • 1Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong

People can easily infer the thoughts and feelings of others from brief descriptions of scenarios. But how do they arrive at these inferences? Three studies tested how, through anchoring-and-adjustment, people used semantic and numerical anchors in inferring emotions from scenario descriptions. We showed that in a between-subject design, people’s emotion inference was biased towards anchoring information (Studies 1 and 2). People made fewer adjustments (anchoring increased) under time pressure in the high anchor but not the low anchor condition (Study 3). When inferring emotions from scenario descriptions, not only did people integrate their inference with the context, they adjusted away from initial anchors provided by experimenters. However, time pressure discouraged people from making adequate adjustments.

Keywords: Anchoring-and-adjustment, affect inferences, semantic anchors, numerical anchors, time pressure.

Received: 06 May 2018; Accepted: 29 Nov 2018.

Edited by:

Petri Laukka, Stockholm University, Sweden

Reviewed by:

Sylwia Hyniewska, University of Bath, United Kingdom
Kristen Lindquist, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 YIK, Wong and Zeng. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Michelle YIK, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Kowloon, Hong Kong, Michelle.Yik@ust.hk