Attribution bias

In psychology, an attribution bias or attributional bias is a cognitive bias that refers to the systematic errors made when people evaluate and/or try to find reasons for their own and others’ behaviors. People constantly make attributions regarding the cause of their own and others’ behaviors; however, attributions do not always accurately mirror reality. Rather than […]

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Groupthink

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints, by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by […]

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Magical thinking

Magical thinking is the attributing of causal relationships between actions and events where scientific consensus says that there are none. In religion, folk religion, and superstition beliefs, the correlation posited is often between religious ritual, prayer, sacrifice, or the observance of a taboo, and an expected benefit or recompense. In clinical psychology, magical thinking can […]

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Anchoring Effect (focalism)

Anchoring effect or focalism is a cognitive bias that describes the common human tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the “anchor”) when making decisions. It’s the tendency to compare and contrast only a limited set of items. It can also be known as the relativity trap. During decision making, anchoring […]

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Hyperbolic discounting

In economics, hyperbolic discounting is a time-inconsistent model of discounting. Hyperbolic discounting refers to the tendency for people to have a stronger preference for more immediate payoffs relative to later payoffs, where the tendency increases the closer to the present both payoffs are. Also known as current moment bias, present-bias, and related to Dynamic inconsistency. The discounted […]

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Projection bias

Projection bias is a problem in human thinking where one thinks that others have the same priority, attitude or belief that he or she harbors even when this is unlikely. This concept is not to be confused with psychological projection where one thinks that others have a mental state that he is unaware of having […]

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Negativity bias

Negativity bias is the psychological phenomenon by which humans have a greater recall of unpleasant memories compared with positive memories. People are seen to be much more biased to the avoidance of negative experiences. They seem to behave in ways that will help them avoid these events. With this, humans are much more likely to […]

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Status quo bias

Status quo bias is a cognitive bias; a preference for the current state of affairs. The current baseline (or status quo) is taken as a reference point, and any change from that baseline is perceived as a loss. Status quo bias should be distinguished from a rational preference for the status quo ante, as when […]

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Post-purchase rationalization

Post-purchase rationalization, also known as Buyer’s Stockholm Syndrome, is a cognitive bias whereby someone who has purchased an expensive product or service overlooks any faults or defects in order to justify their purchase. It is a special case of choice-supportive bias. Expensive purchases often involve a lot of careful research and deliberation, and many consumers […]

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In-group favoritism

In-group favoritism, sometimes known as in-group–out-group bias, in-group bias, or intergroup bias, refers to a pattern of favoring members of one’s in-group over out-group members. This can be expressed in evaluation of others, allocation of resources, and many other ways. For example, it has been shown that people will seek to make more internal (dispositional) attributions […]

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Self-fulfilling prophecy

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior. Although examples of such prophecies can be found in literature as far back as ancient Greece and ancient India, it is 20th-century sociologist Robert […]

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Cherry picking

Cherry picking, suppressing evidence, or the fallacy of incomplete evidence is the act of pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position, while ignoring a significant portion of related cases or data that may contradict that position. It is a kind of fallacy of selective attention, the most common example […]

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Valence effect

The valence effect of prediction is the tendency for people to simply overestimate the likelihood of good things happening rather than bad things. Valence refers to the positive or negative emotional charge some entity possesses. This finding has been corroborated by dozens of studies. In one straightforward experiment, all other things being equal, participants assigned […]

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Wishful thinking

Wishful thinking is the formation of beliefs and making decisions according to what might be pleasing to imagine instead of by appealing to evidence, rationality, or reality. It is a product of resolving conflicts between belief and desire. Studies have consistently shown that holding all else equal, subjects will predict positive outcomes to be more likely […]

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Not invented here (NIH)

Not invented here (NIH) is the philosophy of social, corporate, or institutional cultures that avoid using or buying already existing products, research, standards, or knowledge because of their external origins and costs. The reasons for not wanting to use the work of others are varied, but can include fear through lack of understanding, an unwillingness […]

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Full text on net bias (FUTON)

FUTON (an acronym for full text on net) bias is a tendency of scholars to cite academic journals with open access—that is, journals that make their full text available on the Internet without charge—in their own writing as compared with toll access publications. Scholars can more easily discover and access articles that have their full […]

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Media bias

Media bias is the bias or perceived bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media in the selection of events and stories that are reported and how they are covered. The term “media bias” implies a pervasive or widespread bias contravening the standards of journalism, rather than the perspective of an individual journalist […]

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No abstract available bias (NAA)

No abstract available bias, or NAA bias, refers to failures in academic research and academic publishing, whereby researchers will often ignore articles that could have a high degree of relevance, if they do not have an abstract available. When searching for a given phenomenon, often many spurious results are gleaned. This overload of information will […]

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Publication bias

Publication bias is a bias with regard to what is likely to be published, among what is available to be published. Not all bias is inherently problematic – for instance, a bias against publishing lies is often a desirable bias – but one problematic and much-discussed bias is the tendency of researchers, editors, and pharmaceutical […]

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Reporting bias

In epidemiology, reporting bias is defined as “selective revealing or suppression of information” by subjects (for example about past medical history, smoking, sexual experiences). By extension, in empirical research in general, the term reporting bias may be used to refer to a tendency to under-report unexpected or undesirable experimental results, attributing the results to sampling […]

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Survivorship bias

Survivorship bias is the logical error of concentrating on the people or things that “survived” some process and inadvertently overlooking those that did not because of their lack of visibility. This can lead to false conclusions in several different ways. The survivors may literally be people, as in a medical study, or could be companies […]

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Time-saving bias

The time-saving bias describes people’s tendency to incorrectly estimate the time that could be saved (or lost) when increasing (or decreasing) speed. In general, people underestimate the time that could be saved when increasing from a relatively low speed (e.g., 25 mph or 40 km/h) and overestimate the time that could be saved when increasing from a […]

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Well travelled road effect

The well travelled road effect is a cognitive bias in which travellers will estimate the time taken to traverse routes differently depending on their familiarity with the route. Frequently traveled routes are assessed as taking a shorter time than unfamiliar routes. This effect creates errors when estimating the most efficient route to an unfamiliar destination, when […]

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Zero-risk bias

Zero-risk bias is a tendency to prefer the complete elimination of a risk even when alternative options produce a greater reduction in risk (overall). This effect on decision making has been observed in surveys presenting hypothetical scenarios and certain real world policies (e.g. war against terrorism as opposed to reducing the risk of traffic accidents […]

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Naïve realism, also known as direct realism or common sense realism, is a philosophy of mind rooted in a theory of perception that claims that the senses provide us with direct awareness of the external world. In contrast, some forms of idealism assert that no world exists apart from mind-dependent ideas and some forms of […]

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Illusion of transparency

The illusion of transparency is a tendency for people to overestimate the degree to which their personal mental state is known by others. Another manifestation of the illusion of transparency (sometimes called the observer’s illusion of transparency) is a tendency for people to overestimate how well they understand others’ personal mental states. This cognitive bias […]

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Illusion of asymmetric insight

The illusion of asymmetric insight is a cognitive bias whereby people perceive their knowledge of others to surpass other people’s knowledge of themselves. This bias seems to be due to the conviction that observed behaviors are more revealing of others than self, while private thoughts and feelings are more revealing of the self. A study […]

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Naive cynicism

Naive cynicism is a cognitive bias that occurs when people expect more egocentric bias in others than actually is the case. The term was proposed by Justin Kruger and Thomas Gilovich. In one series of experiments, groups including married couples, video game players, darts players and debaters were asked how often they were responsible for […]

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Trait ascription bias

Trait ascription bias is the tendency for people to view themselves as relatively variable in terms of personality, behavior and mood while viewing others as much more predictable in their personal traits across different situations. More specifically, it is a tendency to describe one’s own behavior in terms of situational factors while preferring to describe another’s […]

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Neglect of probability

The neglect of probability, a type of cognitive bias, is the tendency to completely disregard probability when making a decision under uncertainty and is one simple way in which people regularly violate the normative rules for decision making. Small risks are typically either neglected entirely or hugely overrated, the continuum between the extremes is ignored. […]

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Attribute substitution

Attribute substitution is a psychological process thought to underlie a number of cognitive biases and perceptual illusions. It occurs when an individual has to make a judgment (of a target attribute) that is computationally complex, and instead substitutes a more easily calculated heuristic attribute. This substitution is thought of as taking place in the automatic intuitive […]

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Normalcy bias

The normalcy bias, or normality bias, refers to a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. This often results in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster, and on a larger scale, the failure of […]

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Ambiguity effect

The ambiguity effect is a cognitive bias where decision making is affected by a lack of information, or “ambiguity”. The effect implies that people tend to select options for which the probability of a favorable outcome is known, over an option for which the probability of a favorable outcome is unknown. The effect was first described […]

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Bizarreness effect

Bizarreness effect is the tendency of bizarre material to be better remembered than common material. The scientific evidence for its existence is contended. Some research suggest it does exist, some suggests it doesn’t exist and some suggest it leads to worse remembering. McDaniel and Einstein argues that bizarreness intrinsically does not enhance memory in their paper […]

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Von Restorff effect

The Von Restorff effect (named after psychiatrist and children’s paediatrician Hedwig von Restorff 1906–1962), also called the isolation effect, predicts that an item that “stands out like a sore thumb” (called distinctive encoding) is more likely to be remembered than other items. A bias in favour of remembering the unusual. Modern theory of the isolation […]

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Tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon

The tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon (TOT), sometimes called presque vu, is the failure to retrieve a word from memory, combined with partial recall and the feeling that retrieval is imminent. The phenomenon’s name comes from the saying, “It’s on the tip of my tongue.” The tip of the tongue phenomenon reveals that lexical access occurs in stages. People in […]

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Testing effect

The testing effect is a psychological phenomenon that refers to an enhancement in the long-term retention of information as a result of taking a memory test.  However, in order for this effect to be demonstrated the test trials must have a medium to high retrieval success. Logically if the test trials are so difficult that […]

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Telescoping effect

In cognitive psychology, the telescoping effect (or telescoping bias) refers to the temporal displacement of an event whereby people perceive recent events as being more remote than they are and distant events as being more recent than they are. The former is known as backward telescoping or time expansion, and the latter as is known as […]

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Belief bias

Belief bias is the tendency to judge the strength of arguments based on the plausibility of their conclusion rather than how strongly they support that conclusion.

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Bias blind spot

The bias blind spot is the cognitive bias of failing to compensate for one’s own cognitive biases. The term was created by Emily Pronin, a social psychologist from Princeton University’s Department of Psychology, with colleagues Daniel Lin and Lee Ross. The bias blind spot is named after the visual blind spot. Pronin and her co-authors explained […]

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Choice-supportive bias

In cognitive science, choice-supportive bias is the tendency to retroactively ascribe positive attributes to an option one has selected. It is a cognitive bias. For example, if a person buys a computer from Apple instead of a computer running Windows, he is likely to ignore or downplay the faults of Apple computers while amplifying those […]

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Clustering illusion

The clustering illusion is the tendency to erroneously perceive small samples from random distributions to have significant “streaks” or “clusters”, caused by a human tendency to under-predict the amount of variability likely to appear in a small sample of random or semi-random data due to chance. Gilovich, an early author on the subject, argues the effect occurs […]

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Denomination effect

The denomination effect is a theoretical form of cognitive bias relating to currency, whereby people are less likely to spend larger bills than their equivalent value in smaller bills. It was proposed by Priya Raghubir and Joydeep Srivastava in their 2009 paper “Denomination Effect”. In an experiment conducted by Raghubir and Srivastava, university students were […]

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Distinction bias

Distinction bias, a concept of decision theory, is the tendency to view two options as more distinctive when evaluating them simultaneously than when evaluating them separately. The concept was advanced by Hsee and Zhang as an explanation for differences in evaluations of options between joint evaluation mode and separate evaluation mode (2004). Evaluation mode is […]

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Duration neglect

Duration neglect is the psychological observation that people’s judgments of the unpleasantness of painful experiences depend very little on the duration of those experiences. Multiple experiments have found that these judgments tend to be affected by two factors: the peak (when the experience was the most painful) and how quickly the pain diminishes. If it […]

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Endowment effect

In behavioral economics, the endowment effect (also known as divestiture aversion) is the hypothesis that people ascribe more value to things merely because they own them. This is illustrated by the observation that people will tend to pay more to retain something they own than to obtain something owned by someone else—even when there is no […]

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Zeigarnik effect

In psychology, the Zeigarnik effect (less common: Ovsiankina-Effect) states that people remember uncompleted or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks. Zeigarnik first studied the phenomenon after her professor, Gestalt psychologist Kurt Lewin, noticed that a waiter had better recollections of still unpaid orders. However, after the completion of the task – after everyone had paid […]

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Focusing effect

The focusing effect (or focusing illusion) is a cognitive bias that occurs when people place too much importance on one aspect of an event, causing an error in accurately predicting the utility of a future outcome. People focus on notable differences, excluding those that are less conspicuous, when making predictions about happiness or convenience. For […]

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Attentional bias

Attentional bias is an ad hoc scientific term. Attentional bias can also refer to the tendency of our perception to be affected by our recurring thoughts. For example, if we think frequently about the clothes we wear, we pay more attention to the clothes of others.

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Confirmation bias

Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is the tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses.[Note 1][1] People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply […]

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