Cognitive Biases

2 min read

summary of cognitive-bias-cheat-sheet

we simplify and generalize

noise -> signal -> story -> decision -> reality

Information overload sucks, so we aggressively filter. Noise becomes signal.

Lack of meaning is confusing, so we fill in the gaps. Signal becomes a story.

Need to act fast lest we lose our chance, so we jump to conclusions. Stories become decisions.

We need to remember the important bits. Decisions inform our mental models of the world.

We find stories and patterns even in sparse data.

We simplify probabilities and numbers to make them easier to think about.

We fill in characteristics from stereotypes, generalities, and prior histories whenever there are new specific instances or gaps in information

We imagine things and people we’re familiar with or fond of as better than things and people we aren’t familiar with or fond of.

We think we know what others are thinking but we don’t

We project our current mindset and assumptions onto the past and future.

we favor the immediate, relatable thing in front of us over the delayed and distant.

In order to avoid mistakes, we’re motivated to preserve our autonomy and status in a group, and to avoid irreversible decisions.

We discard specifics to form generalities.

In order to get anything done, we’re motivated to complete things that we’ve already invested time and energy in.

We edit and reinforce some memories after the fact.

We’d rather do the quick, simple thing than the important complicated thing, even if the important complicated thing is ultimately a better use of time and energy.,

We store memories differently based on how they were experienced.

We reduce events and lists to their key elements.

We notice flaws in others more easily than flaws in ourselves.

Confirmation bias: We are more likely to accept information that aligns with our beliefs than contradictory evidence – no matter how compelling.

Anchoring effect: The information we receive first acts as an anchor against which we evaluate all further data.

Decoy effect: A third option can sometimes help people choose between two possibilities.

Rhyme-as-reason effect: Rhyming statements seem truer than non-rhyming ones.

Loss aversion: We react more strongly to the possibility of losing something we currently have than the possibility of gaining something we don’t.

Peak-end rule: People remember the end and a high point within a presentation more vividly than any other section.

Curse of knowledge: When someone who knows a lot about a given subject is unable to relate to someone who is not as familiar.

February 16, 2020