58 Cognitive Biases That Are Screwing Up Everything You Do

Shutterstock

Conformity describes how people tend to behave similarly to other people.

This is the tendency of people to conform with other people. It is so powerful that it may lead people to do ridiculous things, as shown by the following experiment by Solomon Asch.

Ask one subject and several fake subjects (who are really working with the experimenter) which of lines B, C, D, and E is the same length as A. If all of the fake subjects say that D is the same length as A, the real subject will agree with this objectively false answer a shocking three-quarters of the time.

"That we have found the tendency to conformity in our society so strong that reasonably intelligent and well-meaning young people are willing to call white black is a matter of concern," Asch wrote. "It raises questions about our ways of education and about the values that guide our conduct."

Conservatism bias occurs when people believe prior evidence more than new evidence.

Conservatism bias is where people believe prior evidence more than new evidence or information that has emerged. People were slow to accept the fact that the Earth was round because they maintained their earlier understanding the planet was flat.

Curse of knowledge means that when people know something, it's hard to imagine not knowing it.

People who are more well-informed cannot understand the common man. For instance, in the TV show "The Big Bang Theory," it's difficult for scientist Sheldon Cooper to understand his waitress neighbor Penny.

Decoy effect is a phenomenon in marketing where consumers have a specific change in preference between two choices after being presented with a third choice.

In his TED Talk, behavioral economist Dan Ariely explains the " decoy effect" using an old Economist advertisement as an example.

The ad featured three subscription levels: $59 for online only, $159 for print only, and $159 for online and print. Ariely figured out that the option to pay $159 for print only exists so that it makes the option to pay $159 for online and print look more enticing than it would if it was just paired with the $59 option.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Decoys.jpg

Denomination effect is when people are less likely to spend large bills than their equivalent value in small bills or coins.

The phenomenon is typically seen with currency.

Duration neglect occurs when the duration of an event doesn't factor enough into the way we consider it.

For instance, we remember momentary pain just as strongly as long-term pain.

Kahneman and colleagues tracked patients' pain during colonoscopies (they used to be more uncomfortable) and found that the end of the procedure pretty much determined patients' evaluations of the entire experience. One set of patients underwent a shorter procedure in which the end was relatively painful. The other set of patients underwent a longer procedure in which the end was less painful.

Results showed that the second set of patients (the longer colonoscopy) rated the procedure as less painful overall.

Empathy gap occurs when people in one state of mind fail to understand people in another state of mind.

If you are happy, you can't imagine why people would be unhappy. When you are not sexually aroused, you can't understand how you act when you are sexually aroused.

Frequency illusion occurs when a word, name or thing you just learned about suddenly appears everywhere.

Now that you know what that SAT word means, you see it in so many places!

Fundamental attribution error is where you attribute a person's behavior to an intrinsic quality of her identity rather than the situation she's in.

For instance, you might think your colleague is an angry person, when she is really just upset because she stubbed her toe.

Galatea effect occurs when people succeed — or underperform — because they think they should.

Call it a self-fulfilling prophecy. For example, in schools it describes how students who are expected to succeed tend to excel and students who are expected to fail tend to do poorly.

Full Article
Comments

If you liked this story, you'll love these

This website uses cookies

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By continuing to use our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.