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Cognitive biases can be organized into four categories: biases that arise from too much information, not enough meaning, the human learning and memory lieberman...

Cognitive biases can be organized into four categories: biases that arise from too much information, not enough meaning, the human learning and memory lieberman pdf to act quickly, and the limits of memory. Cognitive biases are tendencies to think in certain ways that can lead to systematic deviations from a standard of rationality or good judgment, and are often studied in psychology and behavioral economics.


Although the reality of these biases is confirmed by replicable research, there are often controversies about how to classify these biases or how to explain them. Such effects are called cognitive biases.

Both effects can be present at the same time. There are also controversies over some of these biases as to whether they count as useless or irrational, or whether they result in useful attitudes or behavior. For example, when getting to know others, people tend to ask leading questions which seem biased towards confirming their assumptions about the person.

However, this kind of confirmation bias has also been argued to be an example of social skill: a way to establish a connection with the other person. Although this research overwhelmingly involves human subjects, some findings that demonstrate bias have been found in non-human animals as well. For example, hyperbolic discounting has been observed in rats, pigeons, and monkeys. Many of these biases affect belief formation, business and economic decisions, and human behavior in general.

They arise as a replicable result to a specific condition. The tendency to avoid options for which missing information makes the probability seem “unknown”. The tendency to use human analogies as a basis for reasoning about other, less familiar, biological phenomena.

The tendency to characterize animals, objects, and abstract concepts as possessing human-like traits, emotions, and intentions. The tendency of our perception to be affected by our recurring thoughts. The tendency to depend excessively on automated systems which can lead to erroneous automated information overriding correct decisions. The tendency to overestimate the likelihood of events with greater “availability” in memory, which can be influenced by how recent the memories are or how unusual or emotionally charged they may be.

The reaction to disconfirming evidence by strengthening one’s previous beliefs. Related to groupthink and herd behavior.

An effect where someone’s evaluation of the logical strength of an argument is biased by the believability of the conclusion. A person who has performed a favor for someone is more likely to do another favor for that person than they would be if they had received a favor from that person. The tendency to misinterpret statistical experiments involving conditional probabilities. The tendency to see oneself as less biased than other people, or to be able to identify more cognitive biases in others than in oneself.

The tendency for people to appear more attractive in a group than in isolation. The tendency to remember one’s choices as better than they actually were.

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