Biases defined by history explain why we do what we do.
Cognitive biases are the default setting in our brains for making decisions. They establish how we think about situations we find ourselves in by offering a biased response to external information. The upside is to we are tuned to danger and act quickly. The downside is that we’re often not even aware of what the cognitive bias is doing most of the time. Oh, and they aren’t always right.
The great challenge with cognitive biases is that even when you know about them, stopping them from doing what they do is hard. A good starting point comes with choosing to slow your decision-making down. Another area to work on is your awareness of these biases and susceptibility to them. Awareness comes from knowing what to look for, so below I’ve listed some examples for you to dig into.
First, we start with a reminder on dealing with awareness.
The Lack of Awareness; the Fuel of Risk Our Biases Love to Exploit: Our biases are masters at exploiting our lack of awareness. In this article, I explain why awareness is so important when our goal is to make good decisions.
Confirmation Bias - Can Awareness Help You Control Your Instincts?: We have a bias to seeking information that supports our decision. It makes us feel more confident in our choices and outlook on life. As I explain in this article, we need to pay more attention.
Recency Bias: Why New Information Matters More than It Should: Unsurprisingly, we remember events that occur more recently than past events. This is a bias that means we favour the new over the old, even when the old has the weight of history behind it.
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