Cognitive Biases

Our brains are inclined to make decisions as quickly or even as hastily as possible. Some people have the ability to make important decisions faster than others. This trait is passed on through natural selection and it is human nature to make cognitive biases.

The notions of “Survival of the Fittest” or “Only the Strong Shall Survive” have long passed as modern technology has made our lives much easier. Our brains still strive to make decisions as quickly as possible. Quick or hasty decision-making it is more likely to disturb than to help in a survival situation.

To avoid cognitive biases, we must understand what kind of distortions and errors are inherent in people.

4 Most Common Cognitive Biases

1. "After" = "due to" 

If event B occurred after event A, then A causes B.
Example: "I had a cold, I drank a homeopathic remedy and everything is fine! Homeopathy works!"
In fact: a person recovered thanks to his or her immunity. Without the herbal supplement, the duration of the cold would be the same.

2. Trust in Authorities.

Sometimes respect for a person makes it difficult to see that he is wrong. However, absolutely everyone makes mistakes.
Example: A soldier on the battlefield that accidentally kills a fellow soldier or a civilian could be vilified for his actions. Fortunately, most of us have never experienced the horrors of war and it is wrong to condemn a soldier who made a mistake under fire.

3. Unnatural = harmful.

Example: "Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) is evil."
In fact: Both natural products and genetically modified products can be harmful. Moderation is everything and the amount a person consumes is what’s most important.

4. Heuristic Thinking or making a quick decision based on one’s gut feeling or rule of thumb.

Although quick, this decision-making process can lead to incorrect conclusions.
Example: I don’t have any friends with diabetes, so few people my age have this disease.

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