15 Common Cognitive Biases That Twist Your Thinking - Project Bliss

These frequent cognitive biases are rampant and might simply skew your considering. We’re all weak to being misled and never considering as clearly as we may – even after we assume we’re behaving in our greatest curiosity.

These cognitive biases can negatively have an effect on our decision-making, essential considering, and habits, getting us caught in ways in which work in opposition to us.

It’s essential to pay attention to them so we are able to acknowledge after we fall into these thoughts traps.

Cognitive biases are thoughts traps we simply fall into. If we’re not conscious of them, we’ll get caught with out even understanding it.

Leigh Espy, Project Bliss

Since I’ve change into extra conscious of cognitive biases, I’m seeing them leveraged in every single place. They’re clearly utilized in advertising and marketing, political speeches, and advert campaigns. I used to be aware of some however puzzled if there have been others I didn’t learn about, that had been tricking me into behaving in ways in which weren’t in my finest curiosity. 

One of essentially the most fascinating features of those cognitive biases is that regardless that I’m conscious of them, I nonetheless fall for them. We all do.

QVC procuring community is a grasp of utilizing cognitive biases. They efficiently use shortage, social proof, superstar affect, and extra to get folks to fork over billions of {dollars}. In 2020, they generated over $11 billion in gross sales.

To fight the danger of falling prey to those tendencies, it’s useful to pay attention to these mind-tricks throughout us.

What does Cognitive Bias imply?

Cognitive biases are shortcuts in considering that our mind takes to assist us make sense of the world. They assist you simplify the best way you course of info, so it makes extra sense to you. You’ve bought info coming at you day-after-day. Sometimes you want these shortcuts in order that the data isn’t so overwhelming and you’ll navigate and make choices extra simply. 

Why It’s Important to Know These Common Cognitive Biases

It’s useful to know what these frequent cognitive biases are as a result of they’ll trick you into making assumptions and choices that aren’t all the time in your finest curiosity. And in the event you assume you’re resistant to them since you’re sensible sufficient to acknowledge them, then you definately’re in all probability unsuitable. There are triggers in every single place and it’s simple to fall prey to them.

We typically interpret info and the world in ways in which hold us caught or performing in methods which might be dangerous. Knowing many of those frequent cognitive biases will help you keep away from getting tripped up by them. Once you discover them, you’ll extra readily see once you fall sufferer to them your self.

17 frequent cognitive biases that trick your considering

These 17 frequent cognitive biases can simply trick you into considering or performing in ways in which aren’t all the time in your finest curiosity.

1. Anchoring

Anchoring occurs after we base choices on one piece of knowledge, regardless that there are a lot of others out there. It’s often the primary piece of data that folks base impressions on. People kind opinions on solely a small piece of data relatively than on a bigger variety of particulars.

Example: Seeing a price ticket marked $50 after which seeing the vendor has marked it down 30% to $35 makes folks imagine they’re getting an ideal worth – even when the worth isn’t there.

Seeing somebody drive up in an previous automotive might trigger you to imagine they’re poor, when in actuality they might have many different causes for driving that automotive.

First impressions are essential as a result of folks anchor their opinions of you primarily based on them.

2. Confirmation Bias

Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek for info that confirms our present views relatively than looking for new methods of viewing the scenario. In quick, we imagine what we wish to imagine. Then we search info that helps these beliefs. We both ignore or low cost contradictory proof.

Example: I wish to drink espresso every day, so I seek for articles and data that help the attitude that ingesting espresso every day has well being advantages.

3. Social Proof

Social proof happens after we’re influenced by the actions of others. We imagine that if others are participating in a habits or perception, then it should be agreeable.

This bias is often known as the “bandwagon impact.” It’s recognized by this time period as a result of seeing folks behave in a sure approach can affect others to do the identical.

One frequent instance is the usage of buyer product critiques or testimonials. If different folks assume the product is nice, then it should be true. 

4. Availability Heuristic

Availability heuristics happen after we assume that no matter comes simply to thoughts is extra essential, or possible, than different prospects. People decide the probability of one thing occurring primarily based on how shortly it involves thoughts.

Example: You should journey throughout the nation and have seen airplane crashes on the information. Therefore, you now imagine touring by airplane is extra harmful and resolve to journey by automotive as a substitute.

5. Halo Effect

The halo impact is our tendency to evaluate an individual’s general traits primarily based on one optimistic trait. For instance, we imagine that as a result of they’re pleasant, they should be reliable, or perhaps even sensible.

People might imagine that as a result of somebody is enticing, they should be sensible and competent.

Example: You strike up a dialog with the particular person on the subsequent desk at a restaurant. They’re heat and pleasant. As a consequence, you imagine they should be trustworthy. Later, once you take your toddler daughter to the lavatory, you ask them to observe your purse and different belongings at your desk when you’re away because you imagine you may belief them.

“You’re approach too scorching to be performing like that.” Yungblud

6. Framing Effect

The framing impact is the tendency to make decisions primarily based on how info is introduced, relatively than on the content material of the data. We understand choices in another way primarily based on the way it’s defined or introduced to us.

For instance, in case your baby is asking to remain up half-hour previous her bedtime, she would possibly level out that this is able to provide you with extra time to be collectively and cuddle. She frames the choice centered on the optimistic final result, relatively than specializing in the detrimental lack of sleep. This sways your determination primarily based on how she introduced the data to you.

7. Sunk Cost Fallacy

The tendency to imagine that since you’ve put quite a lot of time, effort, or cash into one thing, persevering with on that path is the very best plan of action. We’re way more prone to proceed down a path if we’ve made a big funding, even when it’s not your best option.

For instance, you bought a used automotive that wanted a great deal of work, and ongoing upkeep will likely be costly. Because you’ve already put a lot cash into the automotive, you select to not promote it, regardless that it might be less expensive to promote it and buy a automotive that has decrease upkeep prices.

Another instance is the need to proceed on a mission you’ve put some huge cash and energy into, even when it not gives the very best answer or final result.

8. Planning Fallacy

The planning fallacy is the tendency to underestimate how lengthy a activity will take to finish, though it’s taken longer once you’ve performed it previously.

For instance, you imagine you’re going to put in writing an article shortly, regardless that it all the time takes you for much longer than you intend for. Or creating that mission doc all the time takes at the least 3 hours, however you assume you may knock it out in half-hour.

9. Groupthink

Groupthink happens when a member of a bunch goes together with the general group opinion to take care of concord. People choose congruence and consistency. In order to take care of order, they’ll ignore desire or dissenting beliefs to as a substitute “glide” and comply with the group’s decisions.

Example: You wish to level out that the mission vendor will not be your best option, however all different group members wish to vote for this vendor and transfer ahead. As a consequence, you don’t resist and as a substitute go together with the group’s opinion.

10. Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance happens when an individual holds two or extra conflicting beliefs. People need consistency, so holding conflicting beliefs causes discomfort. People will modify their ideas or behaviors to accommodate for this.

A private instance of cognitive dissonance is perhaps my perception that parenting is crucial job an grownup can do, however I additionally wish to work lengthy hours to get a variety of work performed and, subsequently, I miss household time. This causes me discomfort and I attempt to justify my habits (or at the least I really feel very responsible.)

Another easy instance is holding the conflicting beliefs that sugar is dangerous for you however you’d take pleasure in a sugary deal with after a dinner out, so that you justify permitting your self to have it.

11. The Curse of Knowledge

Once one thing, it’s exhausting to unlearn it or see from the attitude of others who don’t perceive. This may cause you to imagine that others know greater than they really do. It may make it very exhausting to elucidate that matter to others, because you don’t bear in mind what it was wish to not know the fabric or info.

Example: it’s exhausting to elucidate parts of your mission to clients or others who’re new to it, because you assume they need to already be acquainted with some parts of it.

12. Commitment Bias

Also often known as consistency bias, dedication bias refers back to the need to remain per what we’ve mentioned or performed previously. 

Example: If we publicly declare help for a political determine or a vegetarian eating regimen, we’re way more prone to publicly comply with via and proceed to voice our help.

13. Inattentional Blindness

Inattention blindness happens once you fail to spot one thing as a result of your consideration has been centered so acutely on one thing else.

Example: You’re strolling throughout the room taking a look at and speaking to your sister, and journey over the canine who was proper in your path all alongside. Or you’re driving down the street taking a look at a Ferrari and fail to spot a cease signal.

14. Hindsight Bias

Hindsight bias is the tendency to assume previous occasions are extremely predictable. It’s known as the “I knew all of it alongside” bias.

Example: If your soccer crew wins the sport, you imagine you all the time knew they had been going to win. If a politician you voted for misplaced, you imagine you knew prematurely that they might lose.

15. The Dunning-Kruger impact

The Dunning-Kruger impact is the tendency for folks with low competence or abilities to overestimate their abilities and skills. When an individual has a bit data, their confidence jumps very excessive, as they assume they’re extremely expert in an space just because they know a bit about it. But as they acquire extra info, their confidence drops. Then, as they study extra or acquire extra expertise or talent, their confidence rises once more.

Example: When I first began studying mission administration, I assumed I do know rather a lot about it. Then I began learning for my PMP and realized that there was quite a lot of info I nonetheless didn’t but know! Oooof!


It’s simple to get tricked into the distorted considering these frequent cognitive biases pull us into. And after we do, we’re not considering as clearly as we may, and because of this, we’re not making the very best decisions or performing in ways in which finest serve us.

Knowing these frequent cognitive biases helps you catch them once they occur and make higher choices. Even when them, it’s simple to fall sufferer to them, however you’re higher outfitted than in the event you didn’t know them in any respect.

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