Anchoring biases affect repeated scores of thermal, moisture, tactile and comfort sensations in transient conditions

In this study, we addressed potential biases which can occur when sensorial scores of temperature, wetness and discomfort are repeatedly reported, in transient exercise conditions. We pointed out that, when repeatedly reported, previous sensorial scores can be set by the participants as reference values and the subsequent score may be given based on the previous point of reference, the latter phenomenon leading to a bias which we defined as 'anchoring bias'. Indeed, the findings shown that subsequent sensorial scores are prone to anchoring biases and that the bias consisted in a systematically higher magnitude of sensation as compared to when reported a single time only. As such, the study allowed recognition, quantification and mitigation of the identified bias which can improve the methodological rigour of research studies involving assessments of sensorial data in transient conditions.