The human brain is capable of 1016 processes per second, which makes it far more powerful than any computer currently in existence. But that doesn't mean our brains don't have major limitations.
Cognitive biases deflect us from rationality and clear perception. Cognitive bias “refers to a systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion”, as defined by Wikipedia.
In simple words, it refers to our misconceptions which affect our judgement.
Let’s know a little more about the types of cognitive biases-
- Bandwagon effect- the probability of believing something increases when many other people believe it to be true. The more number of people agreeing on a fact means that becomes truth for you.
- Confirmation bias- we love to be in the particular group or culture those particular things which confirm our own belief. We wish to follow those news channels which support our political inclination. We also like talking to those who think and preach our mind or something similar. We generally avoid our opposites.
- Conservatism bias- this is a typical state where a person finds difficult to accept something new. It means he has more faith and belief on preconception, so any change in the notion is not acceptable.
- Post purchase rationalization- it can also be named as choice-supportive bias, where a person tends to speak in favour of an object that he or she has chosen, even though it may have flaws. For e.g. if we have bought something useless, we try to justify our purchase with many fanciful ideas like how pretty it looks, its colour texture etc. and how it can make the room even more bright etc. just to prove that the object is good because you have chosen it.
- Ostrich effect- when a person purposely decides to avoid dangerous information or negates ideas and news about a negative reality, just like an ostrich digs his head in the sand. If we are expecting poor marks in the examination, and the result comes out, we avoid taking up phone calls or going near the merit list, to delay the process of getting bad news.
- Recency- It is the opposite of conservatism bias, as it is the tendency to have more faith on the current information than the previous one. What is latest is true, because people think that the recent information has come after a lot of research.
- Stereotyping- this is a kind of mentality which most people possess. We tend to fix qualities and characteristics to a person or a group without having any personal knowledge on them. For e.g. South Indians do not speak English even if they know (irrespective of region), Bengalis love rasgullas, and a fat man eats 10kg of mutton every day and a thin person doesn’t eat anything, these are some of the stereotypes in society.
- Gambling fallacy- Also known as clustering illusion, where a person believes that the chances of winning the next time are more if he or she has lost this time. They love to think that fate will turn the futile events in favour of him. This thought process is the cause of gambling practices.
- Outcome bias- Parallel to the previous comes this one, where a person uses his favourable outcome to judge the quality of his decision. If you win in a gamble game, doesn’t mean your decision of risking with your money was good, but once a person wins, he feels that he has the chance of winning again and gets addicted to it.
- Blind-spot bias- the fact that we do not realize that we possess so many cognitive biases which affect our day to day decision is a shortcoming in itself.