Notice 9 Cognitive biases for instant thinking clarity


Cognitive biases are systematic errors in thinking

By Aditya Shukla, Psychologist

When we are presented with too many options, our brains can't process all the information and we end up making no decision at all, or default to something very familiar.


Choice Overload

Tip: When confused, start eliminating options instantly

We seek out information that confirms our beliefs and dismiss information that challenges the beliefs.


Confirmation Bias

Tip: When googling, look for the opposite information, you'll find something useful

We fail to acknowledge the failure stories who do exactly what the success stories say.


Survivorship Bias

Tip: Always look at the stories of people who failed in spite of doing something right.

We tend to value things based on the effort required to acquire them.


Effort heuristic

Tip: When trying to persuade someone, tell how much effort went into it, then they'll appreciate it.

Change blindness is a failure to perceive an obvious change that has occurred in your environment.


Change blindness

Tip: Purposefully observe things so you notice small changes occurring in the environment. They happen all the time.

We tend to take credit for our successes and blame others for our failures.


Egocentric bias

Tip: If you fail, don't jump to conclusions and inspect if you made a mistake first.

We tend to put effort into something that is no longer giving us any reward just because we've already put in a lot of effort.


Sunk-cost fallacy

Tip: Sometimes it's better to let go than keep putting more effort.

We start to notice something more often after we first learn of it. And then conclude it actually occurs more often than it does.


Frequency Illusion

Tip: Objects and events don't occur more frequently just because you've started noticing them more often.

We remember the last moments of an experience and the highs or lows, but forget the boring mundane moments that generally determine our overall experience.


Peak-end rule

Tip: Your experiences might not have been as exciting or dramatic as you remember them.

Take this quiz to see if you can correctly identify all 9 of these biases!

By Aditya Shukla, Psychologist and founder (Cognition Today)