Cognitive Bias

Isn’t Cognitive bias a bad thing?
Yes and No.

Cognitive biases are our shortcuts. They are mental simplifiers that help us respond quickly and easily in situations. Historically, this has fed our fight or flight responses.  

But when undetected, cognitive biases can lead to poor judgment. A few examples-

➡ Affect heuristic: The affect heuristic is a type of mental shortcut in which people make decisions that are heavily influenced by their current emotions. E.g., “I like Tesla. Let’s buy Tesla’s stocks”

➡ Confirmation bias: The tendency to make judgments by looking for information that is consistent with one’s existing beliefs. E.g., The doctor ignoring other signs… “Here’s new evidence that confirms my initial diagnosis of my patient.”

➡ False consensus bias: Overestimating the number of other people (or the extent to which other people) share our opinions, beliefs, and behaviors. E.g., “Is she normal? Who doesn’t like Sushi?”

➡ Clustering illusion: Falsely detecting non-random patterns or clusters in randomly distributed data samples. E.g., “This dress has been lucky for me in the past. I’m wearing this to the interview today.”

➡ Availability bias: Relying on immediate examples that come to a given person’s mind when evaluating a specific decision. E.g., “Two plane crashes in three weeks. I’m not flying anymore”            

And if you are less likely to detect biases in yourself than others, you have the Blind Spot bias. But that’s one we all have! 😊

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