Do you see what I see?

Lists2So, cognitive bias . . . thinking errors that we make when we’re processing information.  Errors, apparently, that prevent us from seeing things clearly, from understanding the facts . . . even when the obvious, the undisputed evidence, is shouting at us from close range.

I’ve put together a list.

Indulge me please – it’s my own clustering illusion, of course, coming into play.  But . . . is it just me, or is it uncanny how many relate to change?

  • Ambiguity effect — the avoidance of options for which missing information makes the probability seem “unknown”.
  • Anchoring — the tendency to rely too heavily, or “anchor,” on a past reference or on one trait or piece of information when making decisions.
  • Attentional bias — neglect of relevant data when making judgments of a correlation or association.
  • Availability heuristic — a biased prediction, due to the tendency to focus on the most salient and emotionally-charged outcome.
  • Bandwagon effect — the tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same.
  • Beneffectance — perceiving oneself as responsible for desirable outcomes but not responsible for undesirable ones.
  • Bias blind spot — the tendency not to compensate for one’s own cognitive biases.
  • Clustering illusion — the tendency to see patterns where actually none exist.
  • Confabulation or false memory — Remembering something that never actually happened.
  • Consistency bias — incorrectly remembering one’s past attitudes and behaviour as resembling present attitudes and behaviour.
  • Déformation professionnelle — the tendency to look at things according to the conventions of one’s own profession, forgetting any broader point of view.
  • Dunning-Kruger effect — “…when people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Instead, …they are left with the mistaken impression that they are doing just fine.”
  • False consensus effect — the tendency for people to overestimate the degree to which others agree with them.
  • Halo effect — the tendency for a person’s positive or negative traits to “spill over” from one area of their personality to another in others’ perceptions of them.
  • Herd instinct — a common tendency to adopt the opinions and follow the behaviors of the majority to feel safer and to avoid conflict.
  • Hindsight bias — sometimes called the “I-knew-it-all-along” effect: the inclination to see past events as being predictable, based on knowledge of later events.
  • Hostile media effect — the tendency to perceive news coverage as biased against your position on an issue.
  • Illusion of control — the tendency for human beings to believe they can control or at least influence outcomes that they clearly cannot.
  • Mere exposure effect — the tendency for people to express undue liking for things merely because they are familiar with them.
  • Optimism bias — the systematic tendency to be over-optimistic about the outcome of planned actions.
  • Outcome bias — the tendency to judge a decision by its eventual outcome instead of based on the quality of the decision at the time it was made.
  • Positive outcome bias — a tendency in prediction to overestimate the probability of good things happening to them
  • Primacy effect — the tendency to weigh initial events more than subsequent events.
  • Reactance — the urge to do the opposite of what someone wants you to do out of a need to resist a perceived attempt to constrain your freedom of choice.
  • Recency effect — the tendency to weigh recent events more than earlier events.
  • Rosy retrospection — the tendency to rate past events more positively than they had actually rated them when the event occurred.
  • Selective perception — the tendency for expectations to affect perception.
  • Status quo bias — the tendency for people to like things to stay relatively the same
  • Unacceptability bias — questions that may embarrass or invade privacy are refused or evaded.
  • Von Restorff effect — the tendency for an item that “stands out like a sore thumb” to be more likely to be remembered than other items.
  • Subadditivity effect — the tendency to judge probability of the whole to be less than the probabilities of the parts.
  • Self-serving bias — the tendency to claim more responsibility for successes than failures.
  • Self-fulfilling prophecy — the tendency to engage in behaviors that elicit results which will (consciously or subconsciously) confirm our beliefs.
  • System justification — the tendency to defend and bolster the status quo, i.e. existing social, economic, and political arrangements tend to be preferred, and alternatives disparaged sometimes even at the expense of individual and collective self-interest.

Use them wisely!

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