Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Jennifer Joy-Gaba, PhD

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Green, PhD


Since its introduction in 1974, the anchoring and adjustment heuristic has been a topic of interest within the field of decision making. Although much work has examined factors that affect the process of the anchoring and adjustment heuristic, very little has been studied about the self-processes that may influence how individuals anchor. More specifically, self and ingroup motivations have yet to be explored. This research sought to identify whether an individual’s magnitude of adjustment from an anchor can be affected by either an enhancement or threat of the individual’s ingroup. I hypothesized that ingroup enhancing information would induce a smaller magnitude of adjustment from an experimenter-provided anchor and ingroup threatening information would induce a larger magnitude of adjustment from the anchor. I also hypothesized that ingroup identification would have a moderating effect on the relationship between type of anchor and magnitude of adjustment. The first study sought to establish the effect using Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) students, using VCU as the ingroup. The second study sought to replicate these findings in novel groups in order to more rigorously test the hypotheses. Results suggested that whether an anchor is high or low affects how an individual adjusts from the anchor. There is also evidence that whether or not one’s ingroup is reflected by the anchor affects adjustment from the anchor. The hypothesized moderation effects did not emerge.


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VCU University Archives

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VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission