12 Cognitive Biases Explained - How to Think Better and More Logically Removing Bias by Practice Psychology
This writing is a transcribe from a video with the same title from Practice Psychology Youtube Channel:
Hey Guys! Practice Psychology here and in this video we’re going to be talking about 12 cognitive biases. Most of these were researched by Ismonoff TV, who has some great animations on topics like these, and other self-development topics are. Check them out in the description or on the end screen. Let's get into it!
Number one is anchoring bias. We humans usually completely rely on the first information that we received no matter how reliable that piece of information is. When we take decisions the very first information has tremendous effect on our brain. For instance I want to sell you a car and you are interested to buy it with the prices and I tell you $30,000. Now if you come back a week later and I say I'll sell it to you for $20,000 that seems like a new very cheap price do you right? Because your judgment is based on the initial information you got which was thirty thousand. You feel like you're getting a great deal. But let's say the first time that you asked me and I say 10,000, and then you come back next week and I tell you I'm going to sell it to you for twenty thousand. Now it doesn't look like a very good deal because of the anchoring bias. This is just a very generic use of the anchoring bias. And I don't want a bunch of comments about why $30,000 car should be sold for $10,000. But another example is trees. What if I asked you if the tallest tree in the world was higher or lower than 1200 ft? And if so how tall? The same effect occurs if I asked you to guess out of thin air instead of giving you an anchor of 1200 ft. The results are crazy
Number two availability heuristic bias. People overestimate the importance of information that they have. Let me give you an example here. Some people think that terrorism is the biggest threat to the United States, because that's what they see on TV the news always talks about it. And because of that it inflates the danger. But if you look at the real perspectives televisions cause 55 times more deaths than terrorism. Yes, TVs literally following people and kill them 55 more times than terrorism. You are more likely to be killed by a cow than a terrorist according to the consumer product safety commission. It's more likely to die from a coconut falling on your head and killing you than a terrorist attack—thank you Gary vaynerchuk for that one. Even the police are to protect you from terrorists, it's estimated that you were 130 times more likely to be killed by the police than by a terrorist. That's because people do not make their decision based on facts and statistics, but usually they make it on news and stories instead they hear from other people. It's way scarier to die from a terrorist attack in a falling coconut, and because of this usually the news won't cover it because there's not much money in it
Number three is a bandwagon effect. People do or believe in something not because they actually do believe it, but because that's where the rest of the world believes. In another words bowling the rest without thinking. If you've ever heard someone say “well if your friends jump off a bridge would you?” then that someone is accusing you of the bandwagon effect. It happens a lot with us. I mean a lot of people vote for a certain candidate in the election because he's the most popular or because they want to be part of the majority. It happens a lot in the stock market too. If someone starts buying a stock because they think it's going to rise, than a lot of other people are going to start picking a stock as well. It can also happen during meetings if everyone agrees on something you are more likely to agree with him on that object. In management the opposite of this is called groupthink, and it's something companies try very hard to deter. Because of nine out of 10 people agree on something, for the last person doesn't and won't speak up it gets quotes a great idea.
Number four is choice supportive bias.So people have the tendency to defend themselves because it was their choice. Just because I made a choice and must be right. For example let’s say of person buys an Apple product, let's say it's a Macbook instead of a Windows PC. Well he's more likely to ignore the downsides where the faults of the Apple computer, while pointing out the downsides of the PC. He's more likely to notice the advantages of the Apple computer, not the Windows computer. Why would someone point out that they made a bad decision? Well let's say you have the dog. You think it's awesome because it's your dog, although it might poop on the floor every now and then. The same goes for political candidates—not the pooping part—but they both may suck. But one of the lesser of two evils maybe more right in your mind because you voted for them.
Number 5 confirmation bias. We tend to listen to information that confirms what we already know, or even interpret the information that we receive in a way that confirms the current information that we already have. Let’s say that your friend believes that sweets are unhealthy. This is generally a pretty broad belief. He will only focus on the information that confirms what we already know. He is more likely to click on videos I confirm that belief or read articles that support his argument. He doesn't go through and type positive health effects of increasing blood glucose levels, or positive effects of eating a bowl of ice cream. No! He will instinctively go to Google and type in how bad is sugar for you. The confirmation bias is a very dangerous and scientific situation. Is actually one of the most widely committed cognitive biases.
Number six the ostrich bias. This is the decision or rather subconscious decision to ignore the negative information. It may also be an indication we only want to consider the positive aspects of something. This goes beyond not only looking for the positive information, but this is when there is negative information and we choose to ignore it as an outlier. Sometimes even when we have a problem we try to ignore it, thinking it will go away. Let’s say that you have an assignment to do, it's not something that you really want to do. So you may just keep on procrastinating with it, because your mind thinks that it will go away or is solved by ignoring it. Smokers usually they know it's bad for their health, but a lot of them keep ignoring the negative implications of cigarettes, thinking it will not damage them or might stop him before anything serious will happen, because they consider themselves an outlier. To avoid finding out negative information, we just stop looking for it. But this could be a serious crime in many scientific research laboratories and basically promote ignorance.
Number seven outcome bias. We tend to judge the efficacy of a decision based primarily on how things turn out. After decision is made we rarely examine the conditions that existed at the time of the decision. Choosing instead to evaluate performance solely or mostly on whether the end result was positive or not, in other words you decide whether an action is right or wrong based on the outcome. This goes a little bit into consequentialism, but it goes hand-in-hand with the hindsight bias. Let’s say there's a manager who wants to take the decision. His team and the data are telling him to make one decision. But his gut is telling him to make another decision. While he goes ahead and makes the decision that his gut told him to do, and in the end it was the right decision. Is that mean it's actually better to trust your gut rather than listen to your team who is advising you based on facts and statistics. Well that's what the outcome bias is; you take the decision and bass the effectiveness of your decision on the outcome. Even if it was luck. That this is bad logical thinking and will actually lead you to ruin thinking and bad outcomes in a long run.
Number eight overconfidence. Sometimes you get too confident and start taking decisions not based on facts but based on your opinion, or gut, because you have been correct so many times in the past. For example you were a stock trader and you pick 5 stocks in a couple years. All of them turned out to be successful and profitable. It increases your confidence to a point to where you can start believing that whatever stock you pick will be successful. It's quite dangerous because you might stop looking at the facts, and solely rely on your opinion. Check out the gambler's fallacy if you want more information on this. Just because you flipped a coin five times and it landed on heads, doesn't mean that the next time there's more than a 50% chance of it landing on a head again. Ego is the Enemy is a great book about this bias and I just made a book review on it.
Number nine Placebo bias. When you believe something will have a certain effect on you, then it will actually cause that effect .For instance you are sick and the doctor gives you a certain medicine. Even if the medicine does not actually help you, even if it's just made of sugar, you believe that it will help you and it actually causes you to recover quicker. This might not sound very logical but dozens of experiments have proven this. That's why if you realize positive people usually have positive life and vice-versa. The way you think is super important and we've hit on this and previous videos. For the same reason a lot of personal development books say that “if you really believe something, you will eventually achieve it, or at least find a way to achieve it”, because of placebo effect will give you the motivation that need. The mind to truly is a powerful thing, and this actually isn't always bad thinking, in fact you can use a placebo effect in our advantage if we use it wisely. There's actually a reverse of this and it's called the nocebo and this is when the effect is negative.
Number 10 survivorship bias. This bias is when you are judging something based on surviving information. Let me give you an example here, there are a lot of articles titled like “five things millionaires do every morning”. Does that mean doing those things every morning will make you a millionaire? No! There are tons of people who did them and didn’t become a millionaire. But they're also tons of people who did them, and did become a millionaire. So these articles are primarily based on the ones who survived and reject all other people to do the same thing, but did not become millionaires. Another example as to say that buildings in an ancient city was built using extreme engineering because they lasted so long. This is a bad conclusion because you aren't considering what ratio of buildings were built to how many that lasted. You're only seeing the ones that lasted thousands of years of weathering, when the other 90% of already washed away. It's hard to know what you don't know.
Number 11 Selective Perception. I like this one. Perception is a form of bias that causes people to perceive messages and actions according to their frame of reference. Using selective perception people tend to overlook and forget that contradicts our beliefs or expectations. Let's say for example you are a smoker and you're a big fan of soccer. You’re more likely to ignore all the negative advertisements about cigarettes, because since you're already smoking you have this perception that it's okay to smoke. But if there's an advertisement about soccer you are more likely to notice it, because you have a very positive perception about it. This is actually something really interesting and has to do with how you perceive the world do to your subconscious mind, and what it filters out.
The last one is called the blind spot bias. If I asked you how bias you are, you would probably say that you were less biased than the average person, and you are more likely to base your judgment on facts and statistics and that's what's known as a blind spot bias or the bias bias. You are biased because you think that you are less biased than everyone else. For example, I gifted something to my teacher,and in the next week she give me a good grade on a test. If you asked her whether she was biased when she gave me that grade, the answer will be that the gift never affected her decision when marking my paper. But if you ask her if other teachers are biased when students give them gifts, she will say yes, in most cases, and that's what the blind-spot biases.
I really enjoyed creating this video, but most of the content was curated by my friend Ismanoff. He's got a channel similar to mine and I'd like you to check it out here or in the description. I hope you guys enjoy this video and learn something. If you want more valuables like this check out my channel And subscribe thanks for watching