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Anchoring and Adjustment

I wrote a post looking at the two numbers "1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 x 6 x 7 x 8" made a median estimate of 512, "8 x 7 x 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1" made a median estimate of 2,250.

From a computer science perspective.

One of the interesting things I noticed was that both averaged guesses are close to powers of two and that given a little bit of fudging you can make a pretty good guess about how our brain creates that guess.

IE

2^8 + 2^1 = 512 and 2^8+ 2^3 = 2048

(note that 2^3 is 8, but 2^1 is 2 instead of 1, so if you fudge all the numbers to their closest power of two and then do multiplication you get the answer they created.

So for

4 x 3 x 2 x 1 you would get 2^4 + 2^2 which is 64 and 1 x 2 x 3 x 4 you would get 2^2 + 2^1 which is 32