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RAM. Revista de Administração Mackenzie

On-line version ISSN 1678-6971


LUPPE, Marcos Roberto  and  ANGELO, Claudio Felisoni de. The consumer decisions and the anchoring heuristic: an analysis of rationality of the choice process. RAM, Rev. Adm. Mackenzie (Online) [online]. 2010, vol.11, n.6, pp.81-106. ISSN 1678-6971.

There is little literature on biases related to the choice process in consumption decisions. One of these biases is the anchoring, that is, the adoption of a reference, logical or not, which directs the choice of individuals. This paper aims to identify and analyze the effects of the anchoring on the consumer decision-making process related to the perception and estimation of product and service prices. It was conducted an experiment with undergraduate students of the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy of the University of São Paulo. The experiment model involved three groups from a unique population. The calibrating group generated estimations about prices of products and services without any mentions to anchors. The other groups developed estimations after evaluating an anchor selected from the estimation distribution of the calibrating group. It was verified that the references with lower values anchor more strongly the opinion of consumers. These results bring relevant implications to the definition of price policies in Brazilian retailing companies. Synthetically this article indicates that traditional pricing techniques do not exhaust the possibilities for pricing policies.

Keywords : Decision-making; Heuristics; Anchoring; Rationality; Consumer behavior.

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