Some cognitive biases

I have been engaged in a politics debate with Jon for a few days and, as part of that, I thought I'd share a few cognitive biases that everyone should be aware of. The complete list is on Wikipedia and it numbers in the hundreds.

I think it is important to be aware of these biases because many people (including myself) see themselves as less biased than others, when the reality may be different (Bias blind spot, which is what this list begins with).

The ones I picked belong to the Decision-making, belief, and behavioral biases category, but the complete list is split into multiple categories.

Bias blind spot
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

Choice-supportive bias
The tendency to remember one's choices as better than they actually were

Clustering illusion
The tendency to overestimate the importance of small runs, streaks, or clusters in large samples of random data

Confirmation bias
The tendency to search for, interpret, focus on and remember information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions

Framing effect
Drawing different conclusions from the same information, depending on how that information is presented

Frequency illusion
The illusion in which a word, a name, or other thing that has recently come to one's attention suddenly seems to appear with improbable frequency shortly afterwards

Observer-expectancy effect
When a researcher expects a given result and therefore unconsciously manipulates an experiment or misinterprets data in order to find it

Subjective validation
Perception that something is true if a subject's belief demands it to be true. Also assigns perceived connections between coincidences

Naïve realism
The belief that we see reality as it really is – objectively and without bias; that the facts are plain for all to see; that rational people will agree with us; and that those who don't are either uninformed, lazy, irrational, or biased


Staff member
I saw something the other day where they were talking about what reality actually was. We created concepts like cognitive biases to explain how we may be mislead. But reality is just a series of photons that reach our eyes. Our brains then interpret that data into meaning. So you could say that kind of raw understanding brings home that our world view is based on patterns of photos. Something to think about.