In an experiment conducted some years ago, real-estate agents were given an opportunity to assess the value of a house that was actually on the market. They visited the house and studied a comprehensive booklet of information that included an asking price. Half the agents saw an asking price that was substantially higher than the listed price of the house; the other half saw an asking price that was substantially lower. Each agent gave her opinion about a reasonable buying price for the house and the lowest price at which she would agree to sell the house if she owned it. The agents were then asked about the factors that had affected their judgment. Remarkably, the asking price was not one of these factors; the agents took pride in their ability to ignore it. They insisted that the listing price had no effect on their responses, but they were wrong: the anchoring effect was 41%. Indeed the professionals were almost as susceptible to anchoring effects as business school student s with no real-estate experience, whose anchoring index was 48%. The only difference between the two groups was the students conceded that they were influenced by the anchor, while the professionals denied that influence.
Given the choice between a professional who won't admit their faults and a man-on-the-street who will, I'll take the latter every time.