I: ANCHORING The saying “it’s never too late to make a first impression” is not strictly true, at least when we come to making decisions. Psychologists have found that we place a greater emphasis on the first piece of information we receive than on what we come to learn later. These “anchors” have such a significant influence on our ability to make judgments that even experienced and knowledgeable people can be swayed by this effect. In a 2006 German study, a group of judges were asked to try a hypothetical case, but only after the prosecutor had asked for a particular length of sentence. Even though they knew the prosecutor’s demands were arbitrary, the judges that had been given a higher anchor handed out longer sentences on average than those with lower anchors. No one is quite sure why anchoring is so pervasive but the theories put forward all relate to the way we This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Three Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 47 Walt Odets The author and clinical psychologist on why self-acceptance is the key to a gay man's well-being. Arts & Culture Fashion Issue 47 A Picture of Health Xiaopeng Yuan photographs the world’s weirdest wellness cures. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Chani Nicholas and Sonya Passi Inside the astrology company on a mission to prove workplace well-being is more than a corporate tagline. Arts & Culture Issue 43 Amia Srinivasan Amia Srinivasan on the philosophy of sex. Arts & Culture Issue 43 David Erritzoe On the mind-bending potential of psychedelics. Arts & Culture Issue 43 The Alt-Right Wellness Loop Where alt-health meets the alt-right.