The Cognitive Biases Continuum

Well, I talk to my grandfather a lot, and he is a Hindu, therefore he has different beliefs than I do about life and existence. He is getting up there, he is in his late seventies, and my grandmother already has passed away. There is a lot I could say about the grieving part, possibly in another article later, I want to talk about cognitive biases right now, I think my grandparents may have a lot. By them having a lot, some cognitive biases may be inherited by my other family members, possibly my parents as well, I am sure we all fall victim to some biases just because they are just easier.

I know religious people quite often fall victim to the believe in a just world, referred to as the Just World Hypothesis. Basically, the just world hypothesis says that a person tends to believe that the world is just, and that any injustice is seen as deserved. A lot of people feel like this, when someone gets cheated on, and they hear the ex that cheated on them gets cheated on as well, they see that as justice, or “karma” (which is a total misuse of the word karma), or they say something like “God works in mysterious ways”.

No, that’s not an example of God working,

The next one that I find is hard to deal with is the Dunning-Kruger Effect (DKE). DKE states that the less competent you are, the more confident you are likely to be, because you’re so incompetent to realize how bad you are. If this is true, then the opposite must be true as well, that the more competent you are, the less confident you’re likely to be, because you’re so competent to realize how good you are, and this is what I struggle with almost daily.

What also goes almost hand in hand with DKE is the Curse of Knowledge bias, at least in my case. You ever have something bad happen to you, and you are in utter disbelief that someone would do such a thing to you. Well, not me, because I was taught that people are self-interested. The curse of knowledge bias states that when you learn something new, you assume everyone else already possesses that knowledge too.

This bias deals with a more social application, but it still ends up being something that we can do. It’s called the Availability Cascade, and it refers to information, rather the hearing of information. As we hear the same information from different people, the more likely we are to believe that it is true. Therefore, word of mouth marketing can be quite powerful. This tends to happen within groups, they tend to fall victim to an Outgroup Homogeneity Bias (OHB), the belief that those within your group are diverse individuals, but those outside your group are all the same, but for what I am trying to say to make sense, we have added a little more to the formula.

Group Decisions = Rumour x Availability Cascade (Outgroup Homogeneity Bias + Stereotyping). (Who said psychology can’t be thought of as anything close to a science)

Your group will make bad decisions about something that is outside your group, when they are confronted with rumours about a person or a group of people that are outside your group, and also that follow stereotypes. Too much noise, you thought.

Now the reason I have Availability Cascade multiplied by the Outgroup Homogeneity Bias + Stereotype is because the effect of those two phenomena at work will increase (or in the case where these biases are null, decrease) the effect of the AC. This is just me typing without doing any previous mathematical homework, I feel as if I should have raised Availability Cascade to the power of OHB+S.

I can’t tell you how much I love models. Anyway, enough fun for me, these biases segue perfectly, into a bias that plagues practically everyone, especially those in politics. The much talked about Confirmation Bias, this bias is the basis for Stereotypes, it says that we tend to look for and we are more easily swayed by information that confirms our beliefs. If you think of any political conversation with a family member, you will know what I am talking about. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of crap I hear about Trump, even playing a videogame like Destiny 2. I was in a match with two other people who were American, I am Canadian, and one player was a Democrat who said some unruly stuff about Trump, and when the other player questioned him and told him to give an example how, the Democrat was stumped. I play video games to get away from this crap.

There’s about a total of 50 biases that Elon Musk thinks every Child should know about, writes Inc.’s Jessica Stillman. There are the ones that I talked about, and many more. There are some that are just kind of obvious, to me, but you’re are not me so I suggest you give this article a look, or perhaps you want to be more self-motivated and search out your own article.

Here is some biases worth mentioning;

Google Effect, Automation Bias, Law of Triviality or my new favourite “Tachypsychia. How exhaustion, drugs, or trauma mess with our sense of time.” (https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/elon-musk-cognitive-biases.html)

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