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Cognitive Bias - which are currently part of your life?

Updated: Aug 21, 2022

The human brain is capable of over a thousand processes per second! This fact makes the human brain the most powerful computer in existence. That said, the brain does have some limitations that create glitches in our thinking. These glitches cause us to make questionable decisions and unfavourable choices from time-to-time. This process is called Cognitive Bias.

Cognitive Bias helps us to process information more efficiently, unless there are glitches in our thinking. It is important to understand your personal Cognitive Bias, when viewing your world.

1. Confirmation Bias

We love people who agreed with us. Confirmation bias is why we like people who have similar tastes and viewpoints, to us. Equally, we tend to be ‘put off’ by people or groups that make us feel uncomfortable or insecure about our views. Behavioural psychologist B. F. Skinner called cognitive dissonance.

These out-of-focus perspectives fuel our pre-existing views whilst causing us to ignore or dismiss opinions which threaten our worldview, no matter how valid.

2. Status-Quo Bias

Some of us have a fear of change, which often leads us to make choices that guarantee that that things will remain the same or change as little as possible. We like to stick to the same routines, our favourite meals and restaurants, our favourite places to visit and so on and these routines are deep seated, even if they are unhelpful to us.

3. Negativity Bias

Sadly, we can tend to focus more on bad news, which isn’t necessarily good. Social scientists think that this is due to our selective attention, where we often perceive negative news as being more important or profound. This negativity bias colours everything we say and do, causing us to think more negativity in life.

4. Neglecting Probability

Practically everyone acknowledges and knows the fact that the probability of dying in a car accident is significantly greater than dying in a place crash. Thanks to negative probability, our brains tend to think that flying is more dangerous than driving.

5. Projection Bias

We often become trapped inside our own minds that it becomes difficult to see outside of our own limiting thinking. Projection Bias often leads to a related effect known as the false consensus bias, where we tend to believe that people not only think like us but they also agree with us.

6. Post-Purchase Rationalisation

Post-Purchase Rationalisation causes us to rationalise everything we buy, even if we didn’t need to. Also known as Buyer’s Stockholm Syndrome, we tend to subconsciously justify our purchases, especially the expensive ones!

To learn more about cognitive bias or to discuss your personal approach, please do contact me.


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