A list of cognitive biases

There are a handful of cognitive biases that are well-known to most scientists: confirmation bias, the Dunning-Kruger effect, the hindsight bias, the recency effect, the planning fallacyloss aversion, etc.. Although they should not be taken as universal laws (for example, recently there was some criticism of generalizations of the loss aversion concept), but it is still important to understand which – probably unconscious – biases might shape our behavior, both as humans and as scientists.

I think that some of thoses biases can be useful to think over if one wants to become better at planning (for example of scientific experiments) or better at understanding data and one’s own (biased) interpretation of it. An unusual resource on cognitive biases that I can recommend is the first third of HPMOR, a Harry Potter fanfiction that discusses cognitive biases in the context of an entertaining narrative. And wikipedia offers a more or less comprehensive list of such biases: List of cognitive biases.

I found it very interesting to read through this list. Although some of it is kind of common sense, having a name for a phenomenon can make a difference – similarly, if I know the names of all the trees and plants, wandering through a forest is different from before, because I start to see things not only with my eyes.

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2 Responses to A list of cognitive biases

  1. anneurai says:

    See also this beautiful poster with all of the biases listed https://www.designhacks.co/products/cognitive-bias-codex-poster

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