26 Reasons What You Think is Right is Wrong

cognitive hazard
A cognitive bias is something that our minds commonly do to distort our own view of reality. Here are the 26 most studied and widely accepted cognitive biases.

  1. Bandwagon effect – the tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same. Related to groupthink, herd behaviour, and manias. Carl Jung pioneered the idea of the collective unconscious which is considered by Jungian psychologists to be responsible for this cognitive bias.
  2. Bias blind spot – the tendency not to compensate for one’s own cognitive biases.
  3. Choice-supportive bias – the tendency to remember one’s choices as better than they actually were.
  4. Confirmation bias – the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions.
  5. Congruence bias – the tendency to test hypotheses exclusively through direct testing.
  6. Contrast effect – the enhancement or diminishment of a weight or other measurement when compared with recently observed contrasting object.
  7. DΓ©formation professionnelle – the tendency to look at things according to the conventions of one’s own profession, forgetting any broader point of view.
  8. Disconfirmation bias – the tendency for people to extend critical scrutiny to information which contradicts their prior beliefs and uncritically accept information that is congruent with their prior beliefs.
  9. Endowment effect – the tendency for people to value something more as soon as they own it.
  10. Focusing effect – prediction bias occurring when people place too much importance on one aspect of an event; causes error in accurately predicting the utility of a future outcome.
  11. Hyperbolic discounting – the tendency for people to have a stronger preference for more immediate payoffs relative to later payoffs, the closer to the present both payoffs are.
  12. Illusion of control – the tendency for human beings to believe they can control or at least influence outcomes which they clearly cannot.
  13. Impact bias – the tendency for people to overestimate the length or the intensity of the impact of future feeling states.
  14. Information bias – the tendency to seek information even when it cannot affect action.
  15. Loss aversion – the tendency for people to strongly prefer avoiding losses over acquiring gains (see also sunk cost effects)
  16. Neglect of probability – the tendency to completely disregard probability when making a decision under uncertainty.
  17. Mere exposure effect – the tendency for people to express undue liking for things merely because they are familiar with them.
  18. Omission bias – The tendency to judge harmful actions as worse, or less moral, than equally harmful omissions (inactions).
  19. Outcome bias – the tendency to judge a decision by its eventual outcome instead of based on the quality of the decision at the time it was made.
  20. Planning fallacy – the tendency to underestimate task-completion times.
  21. Post-purchase rationalization – the tendency to persuade oneself through rational argument that a purchase was a good value.
  22. Pseudocertainty effect – the tendency to make risk-averse choices if the expected outcome is positive, but make risk-seeking choices to avoid negative outcomes.
  23. Selective perception – the tendency for expectations to affect perception.
  24. Status quo bias – the tendency for people to like things to stay relatively the same.
  25. Von Restorff effect – the tendency for an item that “stands out like a sore thumb” to be more likely to be remembered than other items.
  26. Zero-risk bias – preference for reducing a small risk to zero over a greater reduction in a larger risk.

Oh and, by the way, you’ll never be able to truly gauge any of the biases you might be operating under since it’s not possible to accurately observe a system you’re part of. Now, get out there and delude yourself!

Complete list of cognitive biases – Wikipedia

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    • prawnsforlunch

      Also entitled-

      26 things which differenciate humans from logic machines.

      For me its a partially upetting, partially comforting list… ie its ok to have human faults!

    • Hunabku

      Sorry didn’t get past item number 1. Carl Jung’s “collective unconsciousness” is not directly responsible for herd behavior. I think you need to clarify that as most herd behavior comes from the collective consciousness, which often stems from avoiding the collective unconscious or failure or fear to bring it into consciousness.

    • theothereye

      This makes me think that Wikipedia is therefore wrong:

    • mccallr

      “Oh and, by the way, you’ll never be able to truly gauge any of the biases you might be operating under since it’s not possible to accurately observe a system you’re part of.”

      Yes theoretically this it true but if you could know how your mind works as well as mechanic knows how a car engine does the effect of the biases will be negligible. More complete information lessens the bias effect it seems…

    • Gil

      β€œOh and, by the way, you’ll never be able to truly gauge any of the biases you might be operating under since it’s not possible to accurately observe a system you’re part of.”

      That is why mankind tend to think their thought processes are completely wise and correct.. when they are actually not.
      Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.. and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image..

      PROFESSSING THEMSELVES TO BE WISE.. these same people, due to their biases.. become so deluded by their own prejudices that they actually think they are wise when denying or changing the truth about God.. which is foolish if understood outside these biases, because:

      Pro 21:30 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.

    • 1scott2

      Dear Gil,

      Please re-read sections 1 through
      26 of the article. Give it a chance.
      Maybe re-read it a few times.

    • Kilowatts

      Don’t you just love it when someone quotes scriptures. The best example of the herd behavior. What do you call it when someone over analyzes typical human behavior? And these reasons seem to be bias against biased people. It’s like trying to totally rid yourself of all bad karma. You would tend to think that having a bias is a bad thing according to this. Know what I mean Vern?

    • http://pixelspotlight.com/ pixelspotlight

      This article is so wrong…there are really only 25 reasons, and I know I’m right! http://pixelspotlight.com/

    • mtnslinger


      You truly exhibit the typical “herd” behavior (Reason #1, Bandwagon Effect), often demonstrated by those who practice unreasoned Bible-bashing ; 1scott2 attacked Gil first with sarcasm, and then you climbed aboard the wagon with a direct frontal attack.

      Rather than attempting a respectful discourse in response to Gil’s points, you both attacked Gil personally because he happens to believe differently than you, (apparently). And after all Kilowatts, aren’t those of us who have spent more than a passing moment contemplating this article all guilty of overanalyzing typical human behavior?

      As far as the title of this article, I disagree with the premise. Just because our biases may have influenced our conlusions does not in and of itself make those conclusions invalid. Some of our beliefs may be true and others not ; but the biases themselves do not have the ability to change the true or false nature of the conclusions reached.

    • 1scott2

      Dear mtnslinger.

      I thought I was being kind.
      (see #4)

    • http://healthbolt.net Wade Meredith

      Haha, loving all the references to the biases in the post as the responders battle it out.

    • birder

      What you call ‘bias’ is the result of education, observation and experience

    • Islandre

      Many of these are not the result of education, in fact even children of a very young age can be shown to have #4 and #5 (probably more). I suspect they are evolutionarily advantageous heuristics.

    • John

      The poor grammar bias ie affect for effect. If they may this mistake what others did they make.
      The strainng for gnat’s and letting elephant’s through bias ie what I just did.
      The “ornithology” bias ie naming all the birds and organizing them and at the end of the day what do you have? a list of birds.

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    • 강생ꡬ

      κ°€μž…λ§Œ ν•˜λ©΄ 돈 λ²„λŠ” μ‹Έμ΄νŠΈλ₯Ό μ†Œκ°œν•©λ‹ˆλ‹€


      ν•˜λ©΄ 돈 λ²„λŠ” μ‹Έμ΄νŠΈλ₯Ό μ†Œκ°œν•©λ‹ˆλ‹€

      당신은 이
      글을 λ³΄μ‹œλŠ” μˆœκ°„ 이미 ν–‰μš΄μ•„ μ‹­λ‹ˆλ‹€

      이 글은 μ΄κΈ€λ‘œμ½”κ°€

      κ°€μž… ν›„ λͺ‡
      κ°œμ›” 후에야 ν™•μ‹€νžˆ μ–Όλ§ˆμΈμ§€λ„ λͺ¨λ₯Ό λˆμ„ 벌 수 μžˆλ‹€κ³ 

      λ§ν•˜λŠ” 그런
      곳이 κ²°μ½” μ•„λ‹™λ‹ˆλ‹€

      κ°€μž… ν›„ 1κ°œμ›”
      내에 λ‹Ήμ‹ μ—κ²Œ λˆˆμ— λ³΄μ΄λŠ” ν™•μ‹€ν•œ μˆ˜μ΅μ„ 보μž₯ν•©λ‹ˆλ‹€

      μΈν„°λ„·μƒμ—λŠ” μˆ˜λ§Žμ€ 온라인 사업이 μžˆμ—ˆμŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€

      사업듀은 μ°Έμ—¬λ§Œν•˜λ©΄ 큰 λˆμ„ 벌 수 μžˆλ‹€κ³  μ„ μ „ν–ˆμ§€λ§Œ

      μ‹€μ œ κ·Έ 사업에
      μ°Έμ—¬ν•˜μ—¬ λˆμ„ 번 μ‚¬λžŒλ“€μ€ κ·Ήμ†Œμˆ˜μ˜€μŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€


      μ™œ μ°Έμ—¬ν•˜κΈ°λ§Œ
      ν•˜λ©΄ λˆμ„ 벌 수 μžˆλ‹€κ³  λ‹€λ“€ λ– λ“œλŠ”λ°

      μ‹€μ œλ‘œλŠ”
      κ·Ήμ†Œμˆ˜μ˜ μ‚¬λžŒλ“€λ§Œμ΄ λˆμ„ 벌게 λ˜λŠ” κ±ΈκΉŒμš”

      μ΄μœ λŠ” κ°„λ‹¨ν•©λ‹ˆλ‹€

      거의 λŒ€λΆ€λΆ„μ˜
      온라인 사업은 λ„€νŠΈμ›Œν¬ μ‚¬μ—…μž…λ‹ˆλ‹€

      그리고 μ΄λŸ¬ν•œ
      λ„€νŠΈμ›Œν¬ 사업은 μžμ‹ κ³Ό ν•¨κ»˜ ν•  μ‚¬λžŒμ„

      λˆμ„ 벌 수 μžˆμŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€

      λ˜ν•œ μžμ‹ μ΄
      μΆ”μ²œν•œ μ‚¬λžŒ μ—­μ‹œ μžκΈ°μ™€ λ§ˆμ°¬κ°€μ§€λ‘œ λ‹€λ₯Έ μ‚¬λžŒμ„

      μ΄λŸ¬ν•œ λ„€νŠΈμ›Œν¬ μ‚¬μ—…μœΌλ‘œ λˆμ„ 벌 수 μžˆμŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€

      λ‹€μ‹œ 말해
      당신이 κ·ΈλŸ¬ν•œ μ‚¬μ—…μœΌλ‘œ λˆμ„ λ²Œμ§€ λͺ»ν•˜λŠ” κ°€μž₯ 큰 μ΄μœ λŠ”

      λ°”λ‘œ ν•¨κ»˜
      ν•  μ‚¬λžŒμ„ μ›ν™œν•˜κ²Œ μΆ”μ²œν•˜μ§€ λͺ»ν•˜κΈ° λ•Œλ¬Έμž…λ‹ˆλ‹€

      κ·Έλ ‡λ‹€λ©΄
      당신은 μ΄λŸ¬ν•œ μΆ”μ²œμ˜ 뢀담없이 κ°€μž…λ§Œ ν•˜λ©΄ μžμ‹ κ³Ό

      ν•¨κ»˜ ν•  μ‚¬μ—…μžκ°€
      μžλ™μœΌλ‘œ 생긴닀면

      즉.λ‹€μ‹œ 말해
      κ°€μž…λ§Œ ν•˜λ©΄ 무쑰건 λˆμ„ 벌 수 μžˆλŠ” 사업이 μžˆλ‹€λ©΄

      μ°Έμ—¬ν•΄ λ³΄μ‹œκ² μŠ΅λ‹ˆκΉŒ

      μ œκ°€ λ§μ”€λ“œλ¦¬λŠ”
      λ‚΄μš©μ€ κ²°μ½” ν—ˆμ™•λœ μ–˜κΈ°κ°€ μ•„λ‹™λ‹ˆλ‹€

      μΆ”ν˜Έμ˜ 거짓됨이
      없이 κ°€μž…λ§Œ ν•˜λ©΄ μžλ™μœΌλ‘œ ν•˜μœ„ μ‚¬μ—…μžκΈ°

      μžμ‹ μ˜ ν•˜λΆ€μ—
      배치되고 결둠적으둜 μ°Έμ—¬λ§Œ ν•˜λ©΄ 무쑰건

      λˆμ„ 벌 수
      μžˆλŠ” 사업이 μžˆμŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€

      μ œκ°€ λ³΄λ‚΄λ“œλ¦΄
      ν™ˆνŽ˜μ΄μ§€μ— 무료 κ°€μž…ν•˜μ‹œκ³  무료 μ •νšŒμ› λ“±μ—… μ‹ μ²­ν•˜μ‹ 

      찬찬히 λ‘˜λŸ¬λ³΄μ‹œκ³  사업에 λŒ€ν•œ κΆκΈˆν•œ 점은 제게 말씀해

      그리고 μ§€κΈˆκΉŒμ§€
      λ³΄μ•„μ™”λ˜ 또 μ‹€μ œ μ°Έμ—¬ν•΄ λ³΄μ•˜λ˜ μ–΄λ– ν•œ 온라인 사업과도

      λ§ˆμ‹­μ‹œμ˜€ 이 메일을 μ ‘ν•œ 당신은 μ§€κΈˆμœΌλ‘œλΆ€ν„° μ •ν™•νžˆ 3κ°œμ›”

      μ΅œμ†Œν•œ λͺ‡
      λ°±λ§Œμ› μ΄μƒμ˜ λˆμ„ 벌게 될 κ²ƒμž…λ‹ˆλ‹€

      λ”λΆˆμ–΄ κ·Έ
      μ΄ν›„μ—λŠ” κ·Έ μ•‘μˆ˜κ°€ μ–Όλ§ˆλ‚˜ λ μ§€λŠ” 저도 μž₯λ‹΄ λͺ»ν•  μ •λ„λ‘œ
      μ»€μ§€κ²Œ 될 κ²ƒμž…λ‹ˆλ‹€

      λ‹€μŒ 보내
      λ“œλ¦΄ ν™ˆνŽ˜μ΄μ§€μ— λ°©λ¬Έν•˜μ…”μ„œ λŠκΈ‹ν•˜κ²Œ 무료 νšŒμ›κ°€μž…ν•˜μ‹ 
      ν›„ 찬찬히

      λ‘˜λŸ¬λ³΄μ‹œκ³  있으면 λˆμ€ μ €μ ˆλ‘œ λ‹Ήμ‹ μ˜ ν˜Έμ£Όλ¨Έλ‹ˆλ‘œ 흘러
      λ“€μ–΄ 갈 κ²ƒμž…λ‹ˆλ‹€

      그것도 λŠμž„μ—†μ΄
      마치 틀어놓은 μˆ˜λ„κΌ­μ§€μ—μ„œ 흐λ₯΄λŠ” 물처럼

      μ§€μ†μ μœΌλ‘œ
      λ‹Ήμ‹ μ˜ ν˜Έμ£Όλ¨Έλ‹ˆλ‘œ 흘러 λ“€μ–΄ 갈 κ²ƒμž…λ‹ˆλ‹€

      당신이 λˆμ„
      벌 수 μžˆλŠ” μ§€κΈˆκΉŒμ§€ κ²ͺ어보지 λͺ»ν•œ μƒˆλ‘œμš΄ μ„Έκ³„λ‘œ μ•ˆλ‚΄ν•˜κ² μŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€

      κ²°μ •ν•˜μ‹­μ‹œμ˜€
      κ²°μ •ν•˜μ…¨λ‹€λ©΄ [μ œκ°€ 이 사업을 ν•˜κ² μŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€]λΌλŠ” 글을 μ•„λž˜

      보내 μ£Όμ‹­μ‹œμ˜€
      그러면 λ‹ΉμΌλ‘œ 제반 자료λ₯Ό λ©”μΌλ‘œ 보내 λ“œλ¦¬κ² μŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€

      κ·Έ 자료λ₯Ό
      λ³΄μ‹œκ³  λ‹Ήμž₯ 사업을 μ‹œμž‘ν•˜μ‹œλ©΄ λ˜κ² μŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€  λ‹Ήμ‹ μ΄
      이 사업을 ν•˜μ‹œλ©΄

      λ‹Ήμ‹ μ˜ μΈμƒμ˜
      μ „ν™˜μ μ΄ λ˜μ‹œλŠ” λΆ€μžκ°€ 될 수 μžˆμŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€



      κ΄€λ¦¬μžλ‹˜ λŒ€λ‹¨νžˆ μ£„μ†‘ν•©λ‹ˆλ‹€ μ‚­μ œμ•”ν˜Έ aaddss

      μ›μΉ˜ μ•ŠμœΌμ‹œλ©΄ κ·€ μ‚¬μ΄νŠΈ URL을 λ©”μΌλ‘œ λ³΄λ‚΄μ£Όμ‹œλ©΄
      λ˜κ² μŠ΅λ‹ˆλ‹€ λŒ€λ‹¨νžˆ μ£„μ†‘ν•©λ‹ˆλ‹€



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    • http://nikon.ws pjatac879

      This exclusive only for you!

    • http://www.healtharchive.net Health Archive

      Health Archive – http://www.healtharchive.net

    • http://xenophilius.wordpress.com Xenophilius Lovegood

      I wonder what humankind would be like if we were able to genetically improve our brains so we didn’t have these thought flaws. See: Xeno’s Psychic Predictions.

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      i hope. abcba51949 thanks

    • Mineni

      No, I have no opinion. That’s what this page is all about.

    • Garrett

      People are neat. :)

      I wonder how many more constructs we can make with our LANGUAGE.

    • gary
    • EcoRII

      but if what one thinks is right is not, then nothing that is thought is right… meaning the world is wrong.

      I think the world exists.
      Correction: the world doesn’t exist.

      …BUT IT DOES!!??

    • http://google.com/zsxdg sandrar

      Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

    • NoMan

      In standard philosophic form:

      If what one thinks is right is not,
      then nothing that is thought is right…

      The problem is that there is a leap between your two statements, one which jumps from people (one) to all that is thought (something entirely different) meaning your conclusion is irrelevant because there’s no way to make those premises become true:

      If (A) then (X)
      Therefore (Y)

      Is not a valid argument. To make this correct:

      All thoughts anyone thinks are wrong.
      This is a thought.
      Therefore, it is wrong.

      But that’s an obvious contradiction, which is why solipsism fails logic. The fancy term is “self-referentially incoherent.”

    • uberhaman

      What about the Copying off Wikipedia bias?