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Encyclopedia > Cognitive bias

A cognitive bias is any of a wide range of observer effects identified in cognitive science and social psychology including very basic statistical, social attribution, and memory errors that are common to all human beings. Biases drastically skew the reliability of anecdotal and legal evidence. Social biases, usually called attributional biases, affect our everyday social interactions. And biases related to probability and decision making significantly affect the scientific method which is deliberately designed to minimize such bias from any one observer. In science, observer effect is the term for how someone observing and measuring an effect can change the thing being observed. ... Cognitive science is usually defined as the scientific study either of mind or of intelligence (e. ... The scope of social psychological research. ... A graph of a Normal bell curve showing statistics used in educational assessment and comparing various grading methods. ... In copyright law, attribution is the requirement to acknowledge or credit the author of a work which is used or appears in another work. ... Trinomial name Homo sapiens sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin: wise man or knowing man) under the family Hominidae (the great apes). ... Anecdotal evidence is an informal account of evidence in the form of an anecdote, or hearsay. ... The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (e. ... Attributional biases are cognitive biases which affect attribution -- the way we determine who or what was responsible for an event or action. ... Probability is the chance that something is likely to happen or be the case. ... Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena and acquiring new knowledge, as well as for correcting and integrating previous knowledge. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...



Bias arises from various life, loyalty and local risk and attention concerns that are difficult to separate or codify. They were first identified by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman as a foundation of behavioral economics. Tversky and Kahneman claim that they are at least partially the result of problem-solving using heuristics, including the availability heuristic and the representativeness heuristic. Amos Tversky (March 16, 1937 - June 2, 1996) was a pioneer of cognitive science, a longtime collaborator of Daniel Kahneman, and a key figure in the discovery of systematic human cognitive bias and handling of risk. ... Daniel Kahneman Daniel Kahneman (born March 5, 1934 in Tel Aviv, in the then British Mandate of Palestine, now in Israel), is a key pioneer and theorist of behavioral finance, which integrates economics and cognitive science to explain seemingly irrational risk management behavior in human beings. ... Nobel Prize in Economics winner Daniel Kahneman, was an important figure in the development of behavioral finance and economics and continues to write extensively in the field. ... Look up Heuristic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The availability heuristic is a rule of thumb, heuristic, or cognitive bias, where people base their prediction of an outcome on the vividness and emotional impact rather than on actual probablity. ... The representativeness heuristic is a heuristic wherein we assume commonality between objects of similar appearance. ...

Recently, some scientists (David Funder and Joachim Krueger) have raised doubt as to whether all of the 'biases' are in fact errors. Their theories hold that some so called 'biases' may in fact be 'approximation shortcuts', which aid humans in making predictions when information is in short supply. For example, the false consensus effect may be viewed as a reasonable estimation based on a single known data point, your own opinion, instead of a false belief that other people agree with you. The false consensus effect refers to the tendency for people to overestimate the degree to which others agree with them. ...

Types of cognitive biases

The following is a list of the more commonly studied cognitive biases

  • Hindsight bias sometimes called the "I-knew-it-all-along" effect, is the inclination to see past events as being predictable
  • Fundamental attribution error the tendency for people to over-emphasize personality-based explanations for behaviors observed in others while under-emphasizing the role and power of situational influences on the same behavior.
  • Confirmation bias the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions; this is related to the concept of cognitive dissonance.
  • Self-serving bias the tendency to claim more responsibility for successes than failures. It may also manifest itself as a tendency for people to evaluate ambiguous information in a way beneficial to their interests.

Cognitive bias is distortion in the way humans perceive reality (see also cognitive distortion). ... Hindsight bias, sometimes called the I-knew-it-all-along effect, is the inclination to see past events as being predictable and reasonable to expect, perhaps because they are more available than possible outcomes which did not occur. ... In attribution theory, the fundamental attribution error (also known as correspondence bias or overattribution effect and frequently confused with the actor-observer bias) is the tendency for people to over-emphasize dispositional, or personality-based, explanations for behaviors observed in others while under-emphasizing the role and power of situational... It has been suggested that Myside bias be merged into this article or section. ... Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term which describes the uncomfortable tension that comes from holding two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with ones beliefs. ... A self-serving bias occurs when people are more likely to claim responsibility for successes than failures. ...

See also

Cognitive Psychology is the school of psychology that examines internal mental processes such as problem solving, memory, and language. ... Cognitive bias is distortion in the way humans perceive reality (see also cognitive distortion). ... For heuristics in computer science, see heuristic (computer science) Heuristic is the art and science of discovery and invention. ...

External links

  • The Roots of Consciousness: To Err is human
  • What Are Cognitive Biases?

  Results from FactBites:
Cognitive bias - encyclopedia article about Cognitive bias. (2870 words)
Cognitive bias is any of a wide range of observer effects In science, an observer effect is an effect an observer has on an observation by him.
A bias is a prejudice in a general or specific sense, usually in the sense for having a predilection to one particular point of view or ideology.
The most all-encompassing example of cognitive bias may be the anthropic principle: in its "weak" form, this speculation holds that we humans cannot observe any of the possible universes in which humans cannot exist, and therefore that the values of many fundamental constants of nature (e.g.
  More results at FactBites »



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