Here is an incredible book : "Predictably irrational" which every person interested by markets and especially every one into marketing should read after closing "The Tipping point" Dan Ariely talks about ANchors at one point, that influence our opinion about prices. Sometimes random numbers we encounter could do the trick but practically, the first prices we see for a given item become our anchors. So it's because you saw an HP for $ 999.99 that you feel the $ 799.99 Acer is cheap and the $ 1199.99 Sony Vaio is expensive. But thinking about it : Anchors are everywhere really
We have anchors when it comes to our opinion about people. If someone told you that Mr. Person-You-Haven't-Met-Yet is a great person,there is every chance that this idea has anchored in you and will serve as a reference when you build your opinion about that person. THis "great person" criteria willthen serve as a means of comparison and classification and other persons will hance be classified as "more great" than Mr. PYHMY or "less great".
But more importantly I believe anchors' influence depends on the person, the institution and the conditions that've fixed them (and this I derive from "The Tipping Point" approach about how trends form). Hence, if it's a cool-kid type of person you know that've qualified Mr. PYHMY as a "great person", you are more likely to stock to that pinion that if it's a why-do-I-even-listen-to-this-person type of individual.