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Cognitive Biases


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cognitive bias
a systematic and unconscious deviation from rationality or good judgement in our thinking
anchoring
tendency to rely excessively on a piece of information provided early when making subsequent decisions
availability heuristic
tendency to overestimate likelihood or frequency of events represented by memorable examples
backfire effect
situation caused by reactance where people believe something more when confronted with disconfirming evidence
bandwagon effect
tendency to do (or believe) things merely because many other people do or believe the same; a form of herd behaviour
base rate neglect
tendency to ignore general statistical information in favour of vivid specifics
bias blind spot
tendency to perceive or diagnose oneself as being less biased than others
clustering illusion
tendency to misinterpret random clusters of data as significant patterns
confirmation bias
tendency to search for and interpret information in such a way as to confirm one's preconceptions
conjunction fallacy
tendency to assume that specific conditions are more likely than general ones
curse of knowledge
an effect where the more knowledgeable you get, the harder you find it to think about it from a less well-informed person's perspective
empathy gap
tendency to underestimate the influence or strength of feelings (in oneself or in other people)
false consensus effect
tendency to overestimate how much other people agree with our opinions or positions
framing effect
drawing different conclusions or making different decisions from the same information depending on how it's formulated
frequency illusion
tendency to disproportionally notice things that have come to our attention
gambler's fallacy
tendency to assume that the likelihood of random future events is influenced by past events
illusion of validity
when consistent but predictively weak data leads to unduly confident predictions
insensitivity to sample size
("Law of Small Numbers") tendency to overexpect variation in small samples
outcome bias
tendency to judge a decision by its outcome rather than its quality
planning fallacy
tendency to underestimate the time and resources required to complete a project
selective perception
tendency for expectations to affect perception
Semmelweis reflex
tendency to reject new evidence that contradicts a paradigm
Texas sharpshooter fallacy
unrelated data are connected based on a shared quality, and that quality is used to claim the existence of a pattern