Students Anchoring Predisposition: An Illustration From Spring Training Baseball

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Lawrence C. Mohrweis


Anchoring and Adjusting, Decision Making, Audit Judgment Bias, Secondary Ticket Market


The anchoring tendency results when decision makers anchor on initial values and then make final assessments that are adjusted insufficiently away from the initial values. The professional literature recognizes that auditors often risk falling into the judgment trap of anchoring and adjusting (Ranzilla et al., 2011). Students may also be unaware of the anchoring pitfall. This paper describes a brief case study that illustrates an innovative approach for auditing students to gain a better understanding of this judgmental trap. Using a simple baseball pricing exercise, students determined ticket selling prices for two Major League Baseball spring training games. Data for this study was collected from the public posting of baseball tickets listed for sale on an internet company called StubHub. The results showed that when students had sunk cost break-even information students tried to avoid losses and anchored on this information. Ranzilla et al. (2011) assert that awareness of when and how judgments can be biased is an important mitigating step to educating students regarding the anchoring and adjusting tendency.


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