Cognitive Biases: I'm not that biased?

Do you think you have a biases towards certain things and away from others?

I’ve been thinking a bit recently about confirmation bias, how to recognise it and how to overcome it. One of the joys of the internet is that you can always find someone to agree with you, just because they agree doesn’t make either of you right.

This week someone pointed out a scary list of over 160 different cognitive biases on Wikipedia! As with any classification process I’m sure that the list isn’t perfect but however you look at it that’s a lot of biases.

It’s interesting to think that some people will already have stopped reading because of a bias blind spot. Perhaps some of you are experiencing an empathy gap in your emotional reaction to this post.

It may be that my use of English is challenging your functional fixedness (I’m sure I’ve used some punctuation incorrectly somewhere in this post).

I’ve regularly been in situations where the curse of knowledge has made it difficult for me and another person to communicate at a level we both understood. I’m certain that I’ve been caught in the Dunning-Kruger effect but hopefully not too often. (The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias wherein unskilled people mistakenly assess their ability to be much higher than is accurate.) How would I know if I had though?

It’s good to know that the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon is a real thing. In my case this is particularly true for names, I can sometimes remember the first name or the surname, but rarely both.

When travelling to somewhere I’ve been to a lot I sometimes play the game of putting the satnav on just to see whether it knows better than me – who knew I was challenging my well travelled road effect.

Finally I wanted to mention the Zeigarnik effect partly because it’s such a great name but also just because I…

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