Common human tendency to rely too much on the first piece of information offered, the “anchor”, when making decisions. During decision making, anchoring occurs when individuals use this initial piece of information to make subsequent judgements.
Examples & How it is exploited:
No matter how logical or reasonable you are, you base your opinion around something, an initial piece of information. If this initial piece of information is incorrect, well, you get the idea, it can be exploited.
It is very difficult to change life-long friends, because they were one of the first, for this reason.
People and organizations who can influence your opinion on people you don’t know yet do this. Either they bring someone up, or they take someone down. The moment you get to know them or hear about them isn’t with a blank slate, it has already been influenced and you will likely think about said person in the same way you were previously influenced.
The media does this by favouring speed instead of quality. Once they already made that anchor in your mind, they will expand and continue the praise or attacking.