- Every Single Cognitive Bias in One Infographic
- What is a Cognitive Bias?
- Cognitive Bias Examples
- Getting the Lay of the Land
- The Big Picture: New York City in 1836
- Points of Interest
- Transit Begins to Take Shape
- Evolving Shorelines
- Taming the Landscape
- Overall Distribution of Blood Types
- Middle East
- The Caribbean
- Unity in Diversity
- Cognitive Bias
- List of Top 10 Types of Cognitive Bias
- #1 Overconfidence Bias
- #2 Self Serving Bias
- #3 Herd Mentality
- #4 Loss Aversion
- #5 Framing Cognitive Bias
- #6 Narrative Fallacy
- #7 Anchoring Bias
- #8 Confirmation Bias
- #9 Hindsight Bias
- #10 Representativeness Heuristic
- Cognitive Bias in Behavioral Finance
- Additional Resources
- Avoiding Psychological Bias in Decision Making: How to Make Objective Decisions
- What Is Psychological Bias?
- Common Psychological Biases
- 1. Confirmation Bias
- How to Avoid Confirmation Bias
- 2. Anchoring
- How to Avoid Anchoring
- 3. Overconfidence Bias
- How to Avoid Overconfidence Bias
- 4. Gambler's Fallacy
- How to Avoid Gambler's Fallacy
- 5. Fundamental Attribution Error
- How to Avoid Fundamental Attribution Error
- Types of cognitive biases you need to be aware of as a researcher | by Teo, Choong Ching | UX Collective
- Confirmation Bias ☹️
- 50 Cognitive Biases to be Aware of so You Can be the Very Best Version of You
- What Is Cognitive Bias?
- 50 Types of Common Cognitive Biases
Every Single Cognitive Bias in One Infographic
View the high resolution version of today’s graphic by clicking here.
The human brain is capable of incredible things, but it’s also extremely flawed at times.
Science has shown that we tend to make all sorts of mental mistakes, called “cognitive biases”, that can affect both our thinking and actions. These biases can lead to us extrapolating information from the wrong sources, seeking to confirm existing beliefs, or failing to remember events the way they actually happened!
To be sure, this is all part of being human—but such cognitive biases can also have a profound effect on our endeavors, investments, and life in general.
For this reason, today’s infographic from DesignHacks.co is particularly handy. It shows and groups each of the 188 known confirmation biases in existence.
What is a Cognitive Bias?
Humans have a tendency to think in particular ways that can lead to systematic deviations from making rational judgments.
These tendencies usually arise from:
- Information processing shortcuts
- The limited processing ability of the brain
- Emotional and moral motivations
- Distortions in storing and retrieving memories
- Social influence
Cognitive biases have been studied for decades by academics in the fields of cognitive science, social psychology, and behavioral economics, but they are especially relevant in today’s information-packed world. They influence the way we think and act, and such irrational mental shortcuts can lead to all kinds of problems in entrepreneurship, investing, or management.
Cognitive Bias Examples
Here are five examples of how these types of biases can affect people in the business world:
1. Familiarity Bias: An investor puts her money in “what she knows”, rather than seeking the obvious benefits from portfolio diversification. Just because a certain type of industry or security is familiar doesn’t make it the logical selection.
2. Self-Attribution Bias: An entrepreneur overly attributes his company’s success to himself, rather than other factors (team, luck, industry trends). When things go bad, he blames these external factors for derailing his progress.
3. Anchoring Bias: An employee in a salary negotiation is too dependent on the first number mentioned in the negotiations, rather than rationally examining a range of options.
4. Survivorship Bias: Entrepreneurship looks easy, because there are so many successful entrepreneurs out there. However, this is a cognitive bias: the successful entrepreneurs are the ones still around, while the millions who failed went and did other things.
5. Gambler’s Fallacy: A venture capitalist sees a portfolio company rise and rise in value after its IPO, far behind what he initially thought possible. Instead of holding on to a winner and rationally evaluating the possibility that appreciation could still continue, he dumps the stock to lock in the existing gains.
This post was first published in 2017. We have since updated it, adding in new content for 2021.
The early 1800s were a time of rapid change in New York City. This map shows the city in 1836, alongside the modern day metropolis.
The early 19th century was a time of great change for New York, which had already cemented its status as America’s largest city.
The opening of the Erie Canal helped turn the city into a shipping powerhouse, and there was a building boom on the horizon. Cholera epidemics, fires, and riots swept through the city at various points.
This fascinating interactive map, from Esri, is a snapshot of New York City during the tumultuous time (1836 to be exact), overlaid on the modern-day satellite map.
Getting the Lay of the Land
The base map used above is the stunning “Topographical Map Of The City and County Of New–York, and the adjacent Country”, published by the prodigious mapmaker, Joseph Colton.
For easy viewing, the map’s legend is below:
This map includes all the usual features, such as roads and prominent buildings, but it also has some clever secondary information built in as well.
For one, shading indicates ares that were more built-up at the time. There are also a number of visual techniques to indicate topographical features as well.
After all, NYC wasn’t as extensive as it is today, and much of the land depicted in the map is still undeveloped.
The full map is well worth exploring as well, as there are a number of beautiful illustrations throughout.
Tool tip: Click the X on the info bar to hide it. (Mobile: Click the map, then the magnifying glass.)
The Big Picture: New York City in 1836
At this point in time, development in Lower Manhattan extended until about 14th Street, where buildings began to give way to open spaces.
The city’s grid pattern was beginning to take shape, following the Commissioners’ Plan laid out in 1811.
At the time, New York was anticipating massive growth, and the straightforward grid pattern was an efficient way to prepare the city for rapid expansion.
In the 1800s, fire was an ever-present danger for city dwellers. In fact, a major fire tore through Lower Manhattan a year prior to when this map was published.
Points of Interest
There are a number of points worth visiting on this map.
Transit Begins to Take Shape
In the 1830s, New York City’s first railroad line—horse powered for its first few years—connected Prince Street to the Harlem River, accelerating the city’s expansion northward from Lower Manhattan. This route is still recognizable today as the Harlem Line.
One very obvious difference between the two maps is how much land has been reclaimed along shorelines in the area.
Battery Park City, on the west side of downtown, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard are two prominent examples of infill.
Randall’s Island, located near the top of Manhattan, is also an interesting place to observe changes in topography. Randall’s Island is actually made up of three islands that were eventually conjoined in the 1960s.
This interactive map is a great place to explore changes to NYC’s shoreline over time.
Taming the Landscape
Midtown Manhattan is worth zooming into for a couple of reasons. First, the outline of Central Park is visible, although the park would officially be approved until almost 20 years later.
As well, this topographical map clearly shows the numerous outcroppings spread across the island. Manhattan was far from flat in the 1800s, and it took a tremendous amount of effort—starting with gunpowder, pickaxes, and horse-drawn carts—to level the land.
Looking at these historical maps is a reminder that the New York City we know today is the product of hundreds of years of human effort, and that cities continue to evolve over time.
There are 8 common blood groups but 36 human blood types in total. Here we map the most widespread blood types in every country in the world.
Blood is essential to the human body’s functioning. It dispenses crucial nutrients throughout the body, exchanges oxygen and carbon dioxide, and carries our immune system’s “militia” of white blood cells and antibodies to stave off infections.
But not all blood is the same. The antigens in one’s blood determine their blood type classification: There are eight common blood type groups, and with different combinations of antigens and classifications, 36 human blood type groups in total.
Using data sourced from Wikipedia, we can map the most widespread blood types across the globe.
Overall Distribution of Blood Types
Of the 7.9 billion people living in the world, spread across 195 countries and 7 continents, the most common blood type is O+, with over 39% of the world’s population falling under this classification. The rarest, meanwhile, is AB-, with only 0.40% of the population having this particular blood type.
Breaking it down to the national level, these statistics begin to change. Since different genetic factors play a part in determining an individual’s blood type, every country and region tells a different story about its people.
Even though O+ remains the most common blood type here, blood type B is relatively common too. Nearly 20% of China’s population has this blood type, and it is also fairly common in India and other Central Asian countries.
Comparatively, in some West Asian countries Armenia and Azerbaijan, the population with blood type A+ outweighs any others.
The O blood type is the most common globally and is carried by nearly 70% of South Americans. It is also the most common blood type in Canada and the United States.
Here is a breakdown of the most common blood types in the U.S. by race:
O+ is a strong blood group classification among African countries. Countries Ghana, Libya, Congo and Egypt, have more individuals with O- blood types than AB+.
The A blood group is common in Europe. Nearly 40% of Denmark, Norway, Austria, and Ukraine have this blood type.
O+ and A+ are dominant blood types in the Oceanic countries, with only Fiji having a substantial B+ blood type population.
More than 41% of the population displays the O+ blood group type, with Lebanon being the only country with a strong O- and A- blood type population.
Nearly half of people in Caribbean countries have the blood type O+, though Jamaica has B+ as the most common blood type group.
Here is the classification of the blood types by every region in the world:
Unity in Diversity
Even though ethnicity and genetics play a vital role in determining a person’s blood type, we can see many different blood types distributed worldwide.
Blood provides an ideal opportunity for the study of human variation without cultural prejudice. It can be easily classified for many different genetically inherited blood typing systems.
Our individuality is a factor that helps determine our life, choices, and personalities. But at the end of the day, commonalities blood are what bring us together.
A cognitive bias is an error in cognition that arises in a person’s line of reasoning when making a decision is flawed by personal beliefs.
Cognitive errors play a major role in behavioral finance theoryBehavioral FinanceBehavioral finance is the study of the influence of psychology on the behavior of investors or financial practitioners. It also includes the subsequent effects on the markets.
It focuses on the fact that investors are not always rational and are studied by investors and academics a. This guide will cover the top 10 most important types of biases.
List of Top 10 Types of Cognitive Bias
Below is a list of the top 10 types of cognitive bias that exist in behavioral finance.
#1 Overconfidence Bias
OverconfidenceOverconfidence BiasOverconfidence bias is a false and misleading assessment of our skills, intellect, or talent. In short, it's an egotistical belief that we're better than we actually are. It can be a dangerous bias and is very prolific in behavioral finance and capital markets.
results from someone’s false sense of their skill, talent, or self-belief. It can be a dangerous bias and is very prolific in behavioral finance and capital markets. The most common manifestations of overconfidence include the illusion of control, timing optimism, and the desirability effect.
(The desirability effect is the belief that something will happen because you want it to.)
#2 Self Serving Bias
Self-serving cognitive biasSelf Serving BiasA self serving bias is a tendency in behavioral finance to attribute good outcomes to our skill and bad outcomes to sheer luck. Put another way, we chose how to attribute the cause of an outcome what makes us look best.
is the propensity to attribute positive outcomes to skill and negative outcomes to luck. In other words, we attribute the cause of something to whatever is in our own best interest.
Many of us can recall times that we’ve done something and decided that if everything is going to plan, it’s due to skill, and if things go the other way, then it’s just bad luck.
#3 Herd Mentality
Herd mentalityHerd MentalityIn finance, herd mentality bias refers to investors' tendency to follow and copy what other investors are doing. They are largely influenced by emotion and instinct, rather than by their own independent analysis.
This guide provides examples of herd bias is when investors blindly copy and follow what other famous investors are doing. When they do this, they are being influenced by emotion, rather than by independent analysis.
There are four main types: self-deception, heuristic simplification, emotion, and social bias.
#4 Loss Aversion
Loss aversionLoss AversionLoss aversion is a tendency in behavioral finance where investors are so fearful of losses that they focus on trying to avoid a loss more so than on making gains.
The more one experiences losses, the more ly they are to become prone to loss aversion. is a tendency for investors to fear losses and avoid them more than they focus on trying to make profits. Many investors would rather not lose $2,000 than earn $3,000.
The more losses one experiences, the more loss averse they ly become.
#5 Framing Cognitive Bias
FramingFraming BiasFraming bias occurs when people make a decision the way the information is presented, as opposed to just on the facts themselves. The same facts presented in two different ways can lead to different judgments or decisions from people.
is when someone makes a decision because of the way information is presented to them, rather than based just on the facts. In other words, if someone sees the same facts presented in a different way, they are ly to come to a different conclusion about the information.
Investors may pick investments differently, depending on how the opportunity is presented to them.
#6 Narrative Fallacy
The narrative fallacyNarrative FallacyOne of the limits to our ability to evaluate information objectively is what’s called the narrative fallacy. We love stories and we let our preference for a good story cloud the facts and our ability to make rational decisions.
This is an important concept in behavioral finance. occurs because we naturally stories and find them easier to make sense of and relate to. It means we can be prone to choose less desirable outcomes due to the fact they have a better story behind them.
This cognitive bias is similar to the framing bias.
#7 Anchoring Bias
AnchoringAnchoring BiasAnchoring bias occurs when people rely too much on pre-existing information or the first information they find when making decisions. Anchors are an important concept in behavioral finance.
is the idea that we use pre-existing data as a reference point for all subsequent data, which can skew our decision-making processes. If you see a car that costs $85,000 and then another car that costs $30,000, you could be influenced to think the second car is very cheap.
Whereas, if you saw a $5,000 car first and the $30,000 one second, you might think it’s very expensive.
#8 Confirmation Bias
Confirmation biasConfirmation BiasConfirmation bias is the tendency of people to pay close attention to information that confirms their belief and ignore information that contradicts it.
This is a type of bias in behavioral finance that limits our ability to make objective decisions. is the idea that people seek out information and data that confirms their pre-existing ideas. They tend to ignore contrary information.
This can be a very dangerous cognitive bias in business and investing.
#9 Hindsight Bias
Hindsight biasHindsight BiasHindsight bias is the misconception, after the fact, that one «always knew» that they were right.
Someone may also mistakenly assume that they possessed special insight or talent in predicting an outcome. This bias is an important concept in behavioral finance theory.
is the theory that when people predict a correct outcome, they wrongly believe that they “knew it all along”.
#10 Representativeness Heuristic
Representativeness heuristicRepresentativeness HeuristicRepresentativeness heuristic bias occurs when the similarity of objects or events confuses people's thinking regarding the probability of an outcome.
People frequently make the mistake of believing that two similar things or events are more closely correlated than they actually are.
is a cognitive bias that happens when people falsely believe that if two objects are similar then they are also correlated with each other. That is not always the case.
Cognitive Bias in Behavioral Finance
To learn more about the important role cognitive biases play in behavioral finance and business, check out CFI’s Behavioral Finance Course. The video-based tutorials will teach you all about errors in cognition and the types of traps investors can fall into.
Thank you for reading this CFI guide about the impact a cognitive bias can have.
CFI is the official provider of the FMVA financial analyst certification programBecome a Certified Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)®CFI's Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® certification will help you gain the confidence you need in your finance career. Enroll today!, designed to help anyone become a world-class analyst. To learn more, check out these additional resources below:
- Behavioral Finance GlossaryBehavioral Finance GlossaryThis behavioral finance glossary includes Anchoring bias, Confirmation bias, Framing bias, Herding bias, Hindsight bias, Illusion of control
- Behavioral Interview QuestionsBehavioral Interview QuestionsBehavioral interview questions and answers. This list includes the most common interview questions and answers for finance jobs and behavioral soft skills. Behavioral interview questions are very common for finance jobs, and yet applicants are often under-prepared for them.
- What is Financial Modeling?What is Financial ModelingFinancial modeling is performed in Excel to forecast a company's financial performance. Overview of what is financial modeling, how & why to build a model.
- Types of Financial ModelsTypes of Financial ModelsThe most common types of financial models include: 3 statement model, DCF model, M&A model, LBO model, budget model. Discover the top 10 types
Avoiding Psychological Bias in Decision Making: How to Make Objective Decisions
Are you making a balanced judgment, or do you have confirmation bias?
Imagine that you're researching a potential product. You think that the market is growing, and, as part of your research, you find information that supports this belief.
As a result, you decide that the product will do well, and you launch it, backed by a major marketing campaign.
However, the product fails. The market hasn't expanded, so there are fewer customers than you expected. You can't sell enough of your products to cover their costs, and you make a loss.
In this scenario, your decision was affected by confirmation bias. With this, you interpret market information in a way that confirms your preconceptions – instead of seeing it objectively – and you make wrong decisions as a result.
Confirmation bias is one of many psychological biases to which we're all susceptible when we make decisions. In this article, we'll look at common types of bias, and we'll outline what you can do to avoid them.
What Is Psychological Bias?
Psychologists Daniel Kahneman, Paul Slovic, and Amos Tversky introduced the concept of psychological bias in the early 1970s. They published their findings in their 1982 book, «Judgment Under Uncertainty.»
They explained that psychological bias – also known as cognitive bias – is the tendency to make decisions or take action in an illogical way. For example, you might subconsciously make selective use of data, or you might feel pressured to make a decision by powerful colleagues.
Psychological bias is the opposite of common sense and clear, measured judgment. It can lead to missed opportunities and poor decision making.
Common Psychological Biases
Below, we outline five psychological biases that are common in business decision making. We also look at how you can overcome them, and thereby make better decisions.
1. Confirmation Bias
As we showed above, confirmation bias happens when you look for information that supports your existing beliefs, and reject data that go against what you believe. This can lead you to make biased decisions, because you don't factor in all of the relevant information.
A 2013 study found that confirmation bias can affect the way that people view statistics. Its authors report that people have a tendency to infer information from statistics that support their existing beliefs, even when the data support an opposing view. That makes confirmation bias a potentially serious problem to overcome when you need to make a statistics-based decision.
How to Avoid Confirmation Bias
Look for ways to challenge what you think you see. Seek out information from a range of sources, and use an approach such as the Six Thinking Hats technique to consider situations from multiple perspectives.
Alternatively, discuss your thoughts with others. Surround yourself with a diverse group of people, and don't be afraid to listen to dissenting views. You can also seek out people and information that challenge your opinions, or assign someone on your team to play «devil's advocate» for major decisions.
This bias is the tendency to jump to conclusions – that is, to base your final judgment on information gained early on in the decision-making process.
Think of this as a «first impression» bias. Once you form an initial picture of a situation, it's hard to see other possibilities.
How to Avoid Anchoring
Anchoring may happen if you feel under pressure to make a quick decision, or if you have a general tendency to act hastily.
So, to avoid it, reflect on your decision-making history, and think about whether you've rushed to judgment in the past.
Then, make time to make decisions slowly, and be ready to ask for longer if you feel under pressure to make a quick decision. (If someone is pressing aggressively for a decision, this can be a sign that the thing they're pushing for is against your best interests.)
Read our article on the Ladder of Inference to find out more about the stages of thinking that people tend to go through when they make good decisions. This can help you ensure that you've made a thorough, well-considered decision.
3. Overconfidence Bias
This happens when you place too much faith in your own knowledge and opinions. You may also believe that your contribution to a decision is more valuable than it actually is.
You might combine this bias with anchoring, meaning that you act on hunches, because you have an unrealistic view of your own decision-making ability.
In a 2000 study, researchers found that entrepreneurs are more ly to display the overconfidence bias than the general population. They can fail to spot the limits to their knowledge, so they perceive less risk. Some succeed in their ventures, but many do not.
How to Avoid Overconfidence Bias
Consider the following questions:
- What sources of information do you tend to rely on when you make decisions? Are these fact-based, or do you rely on hunches?
- Who else is involved in gathering information?
- Has information been gathered systematically?
If you suspect that you might be depending on potentially unreliable information, think about what you can do to gather comprehensive, objective data.
4. Gambler's Fallacy
With the gambler's fallacy, you expect past events to influence the future. A classic example is a coin toss. If you toss a coin and get heads seven times consecutively, you might assume that there's a higher chance that you'll toss tails the eighth time.
Often, the longer the run, the stronger your belief can be that things will change the next time. However, in this example, the odds are always 50/50.
The gambler's fallacy can be dangerous in a business environment. For instance, imagine that you're an investment analyst in a highly volatile market. Your four previous investments did well, and you plan to make a new, much larger one, because you see a pattern of success.
In fact, outcomes are highly uncertain. The number of successes that you've had previously has only a small bearing on the future.
How to Avoid Gambler's Fallacy
A 2008 study reported at gambler's fallacy was less ly to happen when decision makers avoided looking at information chronologically.
So, to avoid gambler's fallacy, make sure that you look at trends from a number of angles. Drill deep into data using tools such as Situational Appreciation.
If you notice patterns in behavior or product success – for example, if several projects fail unexpectedly – look for trends in your environment, such as changed customer preferences or wider economic circumstances. Tools such as PEST Analysis can help here.
5. Fundamental Attribution Error
This is the tendency to blame others when things go wrong, instead of looking objectively at the situation. In particular, you may blame or judge someone a stereotype or a perceived personality flaw.
For example, if you're in a car accident, and the other driver is at fault, you're more ly to assume that he or she is a bad driver than you are to consider whether bad weather played a role.
Fundamental attribution error is the opposite of actor-observer bias, in that you tend to place blame on external events.
For example, if you have a car accident that's your fault, you're more ly to blame the brakes or the wet road than your reaction time.
How to Avoid Fundamental Attribution Error
It's essential to look at situations, and the people involved in them, non-judgmentally. Use empathy and (if appropriate) cultural intelligence, to understand why people behave in the ways that they do.
Also, build emotional intelligence, so that you can reflect accurately on your own behavior.
It's hard to spot psychological bias in ourselves, because it often comes from subconscious thinking.
For this reason, it can often be unwise to make major decisions on your own.
Researchers Daniel Kahneman, Dan Lovallo, and Olivier Sibony reflected on this in a 2011 Harvard Business Review article, in which they suggest that you should make important decisions as part of a group process.
Psychological bias is the tendency to make decisions or take action in an unknowingly irrational way. To overcome it, look for ways to introduce objectivity into your decision making, and allow more time for it.
Use tools that help you assess background information systematically, surround yourself with people who will challenge your opinions, and listen carefully and empathetically to their views – even when they tell you something you don't want to hear.
Types of cognitive biases you need to be aware of as a researcher | by Teo, Choong Ching | UX Collective
According to Ruth Ellison, the following are some common cognitive biases that are important for researchers to be aware of when they are carrying out their tasks.
Confirmation Bias ☹️
The often unconscious act of referencing only those perspectives that fuel our pre-existing views, while at the same time ignoring or dismissing opinions — no matter how valid — that threaten our world view.
During research, we tend to unconsciously filter out feedback from users that does not help in supporting our assumptions.
How to avoid it during research process?
- You must treat all data(findings) equally.
- Play the devil advocate and look at your hypothesis from the opposite side.
- Be skeptical, especially if everyone agrees with you
50 Cognitive Biases to be Aware of so You Can be the Very Best Version of You
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The human brain is pretty tricky: While we think we know things, there’s a whole list of cognitive biases that can be gumming up the works. We’ve found 50 types of cognitive bias that come up nearly every day, in petty arguments, in horoscopes, and on the global stage.
Along with their definitions, these are real-life examples of cognitive bias, from the subtle groupthink sabotaging your management meetings to the pull of anchoring making you spend way too much money at a store during a sale.
Knowing about this list of biases can help you make more informed decisions and realize when you’re way off the mark.
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What Is Cognitive Bias?
Let’s start off with a basic cognitive bias definition: It is a systematic error in cognitive processes ( thinking, perceiving, and memory) diverging from rationality, which can affect judgments. If we think of the human brain as a computer, cognitive bias basically is an error in the code, making us perceive the input differently or come up with an output that’s illogical.
But there are other types of bias as well that aren’t necessarily cognitive; for example, there’s the theory of social proofing, which is one of the more popular social psychological biases.
Also, there can be cognitive theories that aren’t necessarily considered biases, or rather, they’re more a network of common biases tangled together, cognitive dissonance, which causes mental discomfort when we hold conflicting ideas or beliefs in our minds.
Then, there’s the world-famous placebo effect, which can actually result in physiological changes.
Let’s go into some common cognitive bias examples to really see how they work!
50 Types of Common Cognitive Biases
- Fundamental Attribution Error: We judge others on their personality or fundamental character, but we judge ourselves on the situation.
- Self-Serving Bias: Our failures are situational, but our successes are our responsibility.
- In-Group Favoritism: We favor people who are in our in-group as opposed to an out-group.
- Bandwagon Effect: Ideas, fads, and beliefs grow as more people adopt them.
- Groupthink: Due to a desire for conformity and harmony in the group, we make irrational decisions, often to minimize conflict.
- Halo Effect: If you see a person as having a positive trait, that positive impression will spill over into their other traits. (This also works for negative traits.)
- Moral Luck: Better moral standing happens due to a positive outcome; worse moral standing happens due to a negative outcome.
- False Consensus: We believe more people agree with us than is actually the case.
- Curse of Knowledge: Once we know something, we assume everyone else knows it, too.
- Spotlight Effect: We overestimate how much people are paying attention to our behavior and appearance.
- Availability Heuristic: We rely on immediate examples that come to mind while making judgments.
- Defensive Attribution: As a witness who secretly fears being vulnerable to a serious mishap, we will blame the victim less if we relate to the victim.
- Just-World Hypothesis: We tend to believe the world is just; therefore, we assume acts of injustice are deserved.
- Naïve Realism: We believe that we observe objective reality and that other people are irrational, uninformed, or biased.
- Naïve Cynicism: We believe that we observe objective reality and that other people have a higher egocentric bias than they actually do in their intentions/actions.
- Forer Effect (aka Barnum Effect): We easily attribute our personalities to vague statements, even if they can apply to a wide range of people.
- Dunning-Kruger Effect: The less you know, the more confident you are. The more you know, the less confident you are.
- Anchoring: We rely heavily on the first piece of information introduced when making decisions.
- Automation Bias: We rely on automated systems, sometimes trusting too much in the automated correction of actually correct decisions.
- Google Effect (aka Digital Amnesia): We tend to forget information that’s easily looked up in search engines.
- Reactance: We do the opposite of what we’re told, especially when we perceive threats to personal freedoms.
- Confirmation Bias: We tend to find and remember information that confirms our perceptions.
- Backfire Effect: Disproving evidence sometimes has the unwarranted effect of confirming our beliefs.
- Third-Person Effect: We believe that others are more affected by mass media consumption than we ourselves are.
- Belief Bias: We judge an argument’s strength not by how strongly it supports the conclusion but how plausible the conclusion is in our own minds.
- Availability Cascade: Tied to our need for social acceptance, collective beliefs gain more plausibility through public repetition.
- Declinism: We tent to romanticize the past and view the future negatively, believing that societies/institutions are by and large in decline.
- Status Quo Bias: We tend to prefer things to stay the same; changes from the baseline are considered to be a loss.
- Sunk Cost Fallacy (aka Escalation of Commitment): We invest more in things that have cost us something rather than altering our investments, even if we face negative outcomes.
- Gambler’s Fallacy: We think future possibilities are affected by past events.
- Zero-Risk Bias: We prefer to reduce small risks to zero, even if we can reduce more risk overall with another option.
- Framing Effect: We often draw different conclusions from the same information depending on how it’s presented.
- Stereotyping: We adopt generalized beliefs that members of a group will have certain characteristics, despite not having information about the individual.
- Outgroup Homogeneity Bias: We perceive out-group members as homogeneous and our own in-groups as more diverse.
- Authority Bias: We trust and are more often influenced by the opinions of authority figures.
- Placebo Effect: If we believe a treatment will work, it often will have a small physiological effect.
- Survivorship Bias: We tend to focus on those things that survived a process and overlook ones that failed.
- Tachypsychia: Our perceptions of time shift depending on trauma, drug use, and physical exertion.
- Law of Triviality (aka “Bike-Shedding”): We give disproportionate weight to trivial issues, often while avoiding more complex issues.
- Zeigarnik Effect: We remember incomplete tasks more than completed ones.
- IKEA Effect: We place higher value on things we partially created ourselves.
- Ben Franklin Effect: We doing favors; we are more ly to do another favor for someone if we’ve already done a favor for them than if we had received a favor from that person.
- Bystander Effect: The more other people are around, the less ly we are to help a victim.
- Suggestibility: We, especially children, sometimes mistake ideas suggested by a questioner for memories.
- False Memory: We mistake imagination for real memories.
- Cryptomnesia: We mistake real memories for imagination.
- Clustering Illusion: We find patterns and “clusters” in random data.
- Pessimism Bias: We sometimes overestimate the lihood of bad outcomes.
- Optimism Bias: We sometimes are over-optimistic about good outcomes.
- Blind Spot Bias: We don’t think we have bias, and we see it others more than ourselves.
Use our cognitive bias infographic as inspiration for becoming better and knowing more! You can even print it out and use it as a cognitive bias poster to encourage others to do the same.