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Author Topic: 58 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Everything We Do  (Read 4077 times)

wraith808

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58 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Everything We Do
« on: June 20, 2014, 11:39:16 AM »
58 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Everything We Do (via Business Insider)

Quote
We like to think we're rational human beings.
In fact, we are prone to hundreds of proven biases that cause us to think and act irrationally, and even thinking we're rational despite evidence of irrationality in others is known as blind spot bias.

The study of how often human beings do irrational things was enough for psychologists Daniel Kahneman to win the Nobel Prize in Economics, and it opened the rapidly expanding field of behavioral economics. Similar insights are also reshaping everything from marketing to criminology.

Hoping to clue you — and ourselves — into the biases that frame our decisions, we've collected a long list of the most notable ones.

More at link.

I realized some of these... but not all.  And a very good reminder and article (with examples no less).

overconfidence.jpg
« Last Edit: June 20, 2014, 11:51:08 AM by mouser, Reason: added pic for blogging »

mouser

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Re: 58 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Everything We Do
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2014, 11:51:28 AM »
Nice find.

ewemoa

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Re: 58 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Everything We Do
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2014, 06:47:20 PM »
Indeed!

Thanks for sharing this :Thmbsup:



FWIW, while looking for the article on a different machine, came across:

  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases
« Last Edit: June 20, 2014, 08:13:50 PM by ewemoa »

Edvard

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Re: 58 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Everything We Do
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2014, 09:18:51 PM »
Holy cats!! o_O

Reading through this list, I agree with the post title how these things "screw up everything we do".  There is literally nothing I can think of that would escape irrational bias.  I can totally recognize many of the biases I have noticed in myself and others, mostly due to the reactions I have to someone else's bias.  ;D
Usually what happens is; sometimes I don't notice my bias and just go with the flow, sometimes I see it, but just accept it because really there's no compelling reason to change, other times I instinctively react against it because I can see how irrational it is, which often causes unwanted friction with others who are (in my probably biased opinion) being irrationally biased.

So what would it be like to live with no irrational cognitive biases?  Boring?  Enlightened?  Insane?  I really wonder...
« Last Edit: June 20, 2014, 09:43:54 PM by Edvard »

40hz

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Re: 58 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Everything We Do
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2014, 10:08:06 PM »
So what would it be like to live with no irrational cognitive biases?  Boring?  Enlightened?  Insane?  I really wonder...

Inhuman.  8)

mouser

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Re: 58 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Everything We Do
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2014, 10:15:00 PM »
Quote
So what would it be like to live with no irrational cognitive biases?  Boring?  Enlightened?  Insane?  I really wonder...

I think the real answer to this is important and gets to the whole point of why humans naturally and automatically acquire biases.

Without biases you would be a terribly ineffecient computational device -- slow to react and learn.

mikiem

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Re: 58 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Everything We Do
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2014, 09:45:21 AM »
Cute... I wind up wondering if the authors left their own biases in - rather than editing them out - for illustration?

This stuff can get scary when you realize that it's so often used to manipulate people in marketing & politics, but realizing that can also help when/if you're tempted to question your kids' sanity. :)

Whatever... Google "see the world through our own perceptions" without quotes -- or something similar -- & you'll see enough discussion & info on the topic to believe it's inevitable. Behavioral science is less favored when it puts us in a less flattering light, comparing hard-wired characteristics with our primate ancestors, but it can be interesting if you can get past that common bias of human superiority.

I do like what you wrote, mouser:
Quote
Without biases you would be a terribly ineffecient computational device -- slow to react and learn.

At the heart of the matter is the very real fact that people do what works for them, whether some disapprove or not, whether science has bothered to figure out a theory of why it works or not.

wraith808

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Re: 58 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Everything We Do
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2014, 12:21:54 PM »
So what would it be like to live with no irrational cognitive biases?  Boring?  Enlightened?  Insane?  I really wonder...

Inhuman.  8)

Truth.  I don't think that biases are a bad thing- I think that unrecognized bias or denial that they exist is the bad part of it.  You have to know your audience, and you have to conversely know who is speaking to you.  Then you can add context around the bias that is transparent.  But when we deny bias, we deny that context.  Which leads to inefficiency in communication.

40hz

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Re: 58 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Everything We Do
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2014, 01:12:17 PM »
So what would it be like to live with no irrational cognitive biases?  Boring?  Enlightened?  Insane?  I really wonder...

Inhuman.  8)

Truth.  I don't think that biases are a bad thing- I think that unrecognized bias or denial that they exist is the bad part of it.  You have to know your audience, and you have to conversely know who is speaking to you.  Then you can add context around the bias that is transparent.  But when we deny bias, we deny that context.  Which leads to inefficiency in communication.

+1! We, of necessity, work with the tools we have - and play the cards we're dealt.

I think that's called adaptability - which some have argued is the human species best (or possibly only) real skill.


sword

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Re: 58 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Everything We Do
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2014, 06:37:18 PM »
Simone Weil had it right about our thinking, "Imagination and fiction make up more than three quarters of our real life."

IainB

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Re: 58 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Everything We Do
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2014, 02:56:30 AM »
Simone Weil had it right about our thinking, "Imagination and fiction make up more than three quarters of our real life."
Curious. I wonder on what theory or research that statistic was based. Not the Pareto Principle, anyway...

From my notes on science and thinking:
Quote
"Nullius in verba/verbo." Motto of the Royal Society, London. Literally, "Take nobody's word for it; see for yourself".
This motto indicates that currently, legitimate science seems to be based on the rejection of trust.
Thus, saying something purely on the basis of trust does not resemble genuine knowledge.
This is a new paradigm from the old, where scientific method can be seen to have developed from the 16th century perspective (Montaigne - no harm in the fact that "almost all the opinions we have are taken on authority and credit".) to the 17th century perspective (Gilbert, Bacon, Descartes and Boyle) where the approach is to take nothing on trust/authority.
So today we seek natural knowledge founded in evidence in nature - using individual reason - NOT in authority of tradition.
Thus real knowledge is NOT based on trust but on direct experience. - because reliance on the views of others produces errors.
The best scientist is thus incapable of functioning as a member of society.
The puzzle is that objective truth may exist, but human nature may preclude us from being able to experience it.

Sort of what @mouser says?:
...Without biases you would be a terribly ineffecient computational device -- slow to react and learn.

IainB

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IainB

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Re: 58 Cognitive Biases That Screw Up Everything We Do
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2014, 09:12:32 PM »
Tying in with my comment above re the "Nullius in verba/verbo." motto of the Royal Society, London, I have cross-posted this from the "Peer Review" discussion thread:
A new Decalogue for Peer Review and the Scientific Process
Here is some sage advice on thinking from Bertrand Russell, in regard to teaching, and which could equally well be applied to science and peer review. I have copied it below from an RSS feed I subscribe to at brainpickings.org: (well worth a read)
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
British philosopher, mathematician, historian, and social critic Bertrand Russell endures as one of the most intellectually diverse and influential thinkers in modern history, his philosophy of religion in particular having shaped the work of such modern atheism champions as Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Richard Dawkins. From the third volume of The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell: 1944-1969 comes this remarkable micro-manifesto, entitled A Liberal Decalogue — a vision for responsibilities of a teacher, in which Russell touches on a number of recurring themes from pickings past — the purpose of education, the value of uncertainty, the importance of critical thinking, the gift of intelligent criticism, and more.
It originally appeared in the December 16, 1951, issue of The New York Times Magazine, at the end of the article “The best answer to fanaticism: Liberalism.”
__________________________
Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:
  • 1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
  • 2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
  • 3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
  • 4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
  • 5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
  • 6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
  • 7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  • 8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
  • 9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
  • 10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.
The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell is a treasure trove of wisdom in its entirety — highly recommended.