Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cognitive Bias

Humans have so much stimuli coming in all the time that we have to unconsciously cut corners in order to do mental tasks. We do this with our vision, our reasoning, and our memory. (For example, when we look at a picture or a field we know that objects that at are in front of other things must be closer because well... it is in the front!) However, when we draw incorrect conclusions based on these shortcuts. cognitive bias happens. These are call heuristics, simple rules for our brains to compute things, but incidentally can introduce errors.

A page from the cognitive biases study guide.
Somebody over on Scribd put together a great study guide of all the cognitive biases. It includes cool little images that will help you remember the biases. However a lot of the information came from a wiki, I am not sure how reliable it is. Although it seems that the same people who put this guide together are the same that have been editing the wiki page that all of these came from. Nonetheless a lot of this information can be found in any Cognitive Science or Cognitive Psychology textbook or website.

Cognitive Biases are really important to know about when dealing with people for two reasons. First you will be able to know when someone is bullshitting you or them self with one of these. Second, you will be able to know when you are appealing one of these biases. In a way, it is almost a form of enlightenment because you are able to know you are making an error. In fact, the blind spot bias is "the tendency not to compensate for one's own cognitive biases. Memorize these, and apply them every day. If you ever take a psych class you will have to know about a few of them anyways.


  1. I'll try to learn a bit about them

  2. Nice post, thanks guy!
    Have a nice day.

  3. My family has an ongoing memory bias story in which my grandmother has no recollection of an event that reflected negatively on her but the rest of the family does. I should show this to her haha