Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Top 26 List of Cognitive Bias – Basically the top reasons why we, as human beings, don’t make rational decisions. Most of these get regularly manipulated by advertisers, salesmen, con-artists, public speakers – basically anyone that deals with people.
1) Bandwagon effect - the tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same. Related to groupthink, herd behaviour, and manias. Carl Jung pioneered the idea of the collective unconscious which is considered by Jungian psychologists to be responsible for this cognitive bias.

Popular things tend to trumpet how popular they are. Movie ads say "Pirates of the Caribbean is the #1 Movie in America!" Then why do they need my help?

12) Illusion of control - the tendency for human beings to believe they can control or at least influence outcomes which they clearly cannot.

I heard that the "Close Door" buttons on elevators do nothing -- that doors close on a timer anyway -- they just let us feel like we're in control.

15) Loss aversion - the tendency for people to strongly prefer avoiding losses over acquiring gains (see also sunk cost effects)

I know I'd be pretty pleased to win $100; but nowhere near as pissed if someone stole $100 from me. I mean god-damned $100 right there in my wallet. Grumbling would go on for days.

20) Planning fallacy - the tendency to underestimate task-completion times.

Things are never ahead of schedule. One would think there'd be a 50/50 chance. One of the roots of procrastination.

Not really a bias, but I just wanted to mention that my mother always said I was the handsomest boy at school. Because of my objective handsomeness.

via Neatorama

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