Current Psychology

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 294–300 | Cite as

Use of the anchoring and adjustment heuristic by children

  • H. David SmithEmail author


Two studies are discussed in which children's use of the anchoring and adjustment heuristic was considered. Study one is a modification of the classic multiplication task devised by Kahneman and Tversky (1974). Results indicate that children in grades 4, 6, 8 and adults are affected by the order of numbers provided in an addition task. In addition, younger children display the tendency to over adjust, yielding higher estimates. In the second study, third and fifth grade participants and adults were provided anchors and estimated the number of jellybeans in a glass container. A main effect for condition is indicated, with lower anchors leading to lower estimates. Results of both studies are consistent with the an anchoring and adjustment explanation.


Fourth Grader Current Psychology Addition Task Conjunction Fallacy Availability Heuristic 
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Copyright information

© Springer 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMiddlebury CollegeMiddlebury

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