Cognitive Bias

by Flinkliv · Updated May. 25, 2023

  1. What is cognitive bias?
  2. Examples of cognitive bias

What is cognitive bias?

Cognitive biases are systematic errors in our thinking process that leads to poor judgments and bad decisions.

When we process and interpret information to make decisions, we are constantly influenced by internal thoughts and beliefs (cognitive biases) that are not necessarily reasonable, reliable, or even accurate. Cognitive biases create mental barriers that block or filter the reality of a situation.

The good news is that the process of making decisions could be improved by being aware and recognizing those cognitive biases.

Examples of cognitive bias

Example of confirmation bias:

Confirmation bias is the inclination to search for information that validates or supports our prior believes or values.

Conversation between A and B about confirmation bias. 
             A: What is confirmation bias?
			 B: Okay, let me break it down for you.
Conversation between A and B about confirmation bias. 
              A: I will never vote for the Pink one
              B: Why?
              A: None of my friends like him. I read a lot of bad news about him on social media
              B: This is confirmation bias.
              A: What do you mean?
              B: The chances are that most of your friends post information that reinforces your beliefs B: Have you consider the idea that you might be wrong?
              B: You need to look for news that challenges your beliefs

Example of confirmation bias:

Conversation between A and B about confirmation bias.
              A: I will never travel by plane again
              B: Why?
              A: I googled it. 125 accidents in 2019 and 90 in 2020.
              B: This is confirmation bias
              A: What do you mean?
              B: You need to look for news that challenges your beliefs
              B: Air travel risks are 0.07 deaths for every 1 billion miles traveled.

Example of echo chamber:

An echo chamber is an environment where people encounter ideas, beliefs, or opinions that reflect and reinforce their own. You have to break out of any echo chamber environment by seeking external & neutral views, playing a devil's advocate, forming diverse teams, etc.

Conversation between A and B about echo chamber.
            A: Check this news on social media.
            B: Algorithms will feed & link you with info & people that reflect & reinforce your opinions.
            B: it is called the Echo chamber as it limits your exposure to different thoughts.
            B: Echo chamber increases social and political polarization.
            A: I unfriend you (click).

Example of survivorship bias:

Survivorship bias is our tendency to over-focus on the people or things that have succeeded or survived.

Conversation between A and B about  survivorship bias. 
              A: I decided to buy cryptocurrency
              B: Why?
              A: The Pink told me his success story. He made a huge gain
              B: This is survivorship bias
              A: What do you mean?
              B: You heard the one that survived. You heard only from the guy who succeeded. But how many lost their money

Example of sampling cognitive bias:

Sampling bias occurs when a sample is collected in such a way that some members of the population have a lower or higher sampling probability than others.

Conversation between A and B about sampling cognitive bias. 
              A:From the survey, many people bought our products.
			B: A survey?
			A:	Emailed after purchase
			B:	This is sample cognitive bias.
			B:	Who answered no?

Example of cognitive bias towards introverts:

Conversation between A and B about cognitive bias towards introverts.
              A: The Red is an introvert
              B: So what?
              A: He must be anti-social, shy, not-confident, maybe even depressed

              B: This is a cognitive bias towards introverts
              A: What do you mean?
              B: You are stereotyping introverts

              B: You described behaviors that apply to both introverts and extroverts
              B: Introverts get energy from the inside; it has nothing to do with being anti-social or not-confident

Example of availability heuristic:

The availability heuristic is our tendency to draw conclusions, make judgments, or make decision based on what comes to our mind immediately.

Conversation between A and B about Availability Heuristic.
              A: I want to play a lottery
              B: Why? 
              A: I want to be happy like the winners on TV
              B: Oh, boy. This is an Availability Heuristic; it is a cognitive bias
              A: What? 
              B: Thanks to the advertising industry, happy winners are the immediate and only examples that come to your mind
              B: The ads don't show you the over majority of losers. Or the winners that ruined their lives.

Example of curse of knowledge bias:

The curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias that happens when you interact with others assuming they have the same knowledge or expertise as you do.

Conversation between A and B about the curse of knowledge bias.
              A: Our clients are idiots
B: Why?
A: They barely know how to use the product
B: This is a Cognitive Bias. 
A: What do you mean?
B: The Curse of Knowledge Bias
B: You built the product, you know the in and out, they don't
B: Clients need to be involved during the product development for test and UX

Example of loss aversion bias:

Loss aversion is the inclination to favor avoiding losses to earning equivalent gains.

Conversation between A and B about the loss aversion bias.
              A: I keep selling stocks out of fear and lose money
B: This is loss aversion cognitive bias

B: People feel the pain of a loss more than they feel the pleasure of making a profit

B: You are selling stocks out of fear of further losses and miss out on market rebounds

B: Conduct due diligence and buy for the long term

Example of Apophenia bias:

Apophenia bias is the tendency to identify patterns and meaning in arbitrary data or information.

Conversation between A and B about the Apophenia bias.
              A: I keep losing in stocks despite all my efforts
B: What efforts?
A: Finding patterns and making sense of charts

B: This is Apophenia

B: Apophenia is a cognitive bias; you try to see patterns in things that are totally random.

B: To overcome this issue, be skeptical, recognize the bias, and challenge your assumptions

Example of Dunning-Kruger-effect bias:

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias that people with low knowledge, experience, or skills tend to overestimate their own ability and that people with high knowledge, experience, or skill tend to underestimate their own ability.

Conversation between A and B about the Dunning–Kruger-effect bias.
              A: The more I know about data science the less I think I know about data science
B: It is normal

B: This is the Dunning–Kruger effect, a cognitive bias.

Example of appeal to authority bias:

The appeal to authority bias is a cognitive bias when you use an authority figure or institution opinion instead of evidence.

Conversation between A and B about the appeal to authority bias.
            A:We need to change our architecture.
            B:How come?
            A:The expert told us.
            B:Did he provide any evidence to back up his claim? 
            A:Nope, he is an expert.
            B:Oh! Boy, this is an appeal to authority bias.
            B:It is when you use an authority figure or institution opinion instead of evidence.
            A:Does it mean that I have to question every authority figure or institution's opinions?

Example of cognitive ease:

We tend to look or listen to easy, familiar, and repetitive solutions to solve complex problems. Always take time to gather, check, and process information, and opt for deep thinking instead of easy solutions.

Conversation between A and B about the cognitive ease bias.
            A: I like this party's solutions: more jobs, prosperity, kick pink people, etc. 

			B: This is cognitive ease

			B: Beawar of easy solutions for complexe issues.These idea are popular and familiar. Things are more complexe than that. You have to face complexity,

Example of Self-Serving bias:

A self-serving bias is believing that good things happen to you thanks to your skills, hard work, and behavior. In contrast, bad things happen to you because of outside circumstances rather than taking personal responsibility.

Conversation between A and B about the Self-Serving bias.
            B: How was the game?
            A: We won, we are the best.
            A: We lost before cuz of the bad referee, weather, injuries, etc.

            B: This is Self-Serving Bias.

            B: You win thanks to your behavior and actions; you lose, blame external factors, and it is not your fault.

            A: I envy people who have never met you.

Example of projection bias

The projection bias happens when we rely on our current status, such as emotions, values, or beliefs, as reference points to predict the preferences of our future selves.

Conversation between A and B about projection bias.
            A: I will be happier next your
				B: Projection bias
				B: Mispredicting the future based on today's perspective
				A: You ruined my new year's resolution

Example of present bias

In a trade-off situation, present bias is the tendency to settle for a smaller current (or present) reward instead of waiting for a larger future reward. It describes the trend of overvaluing immediate rewards while putting less worth in long-term consequences.

Conversation between A and B about present bias.
			B: Over time junk food leads to poor health.
			A: It is so delicious.
			B: This is present bias.
			B: To make choices for the present over the future.
			A: But, it is delicious.