Bandwagon effect

The bandwagon effect is a well documented form of groupthink in behavioral science and has many applications. The general rule is that conduct or beliefs spread among people, as fads and trends clearly do, with “the probability of any individual adopting it increasing with the proportion who have already done so”. As more people come to believe […]

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Base rate fallacy

Base rate fallacy, also called base rate neglect or base rate bias, is an error in thinking. If presented with related base rate information (i.e. generic, general information) and specific information (information only pertaining to a certain case), the mind tends to ignore the former and focus on the latter. This is what the base […]

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Cognitive bias

Cognitive biases are tendencies to think in certain ways that can lead to systematic deviations from a “standard of rationality” or good judgment, and are often studied in psychology and behavioral economics. A cognitive bias is a pattern of deviation in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical […]

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Overconfidence effect

The overconfidence effect is a well-established bias in which someone’s subjective confidence in their judgments is reliably greater than their objective accuracy, especially when confidence is relatively high. For example, in some quizzes, people rate their answers as “99% certain” but are wrong 40% of the time. It has been proposed that a metacognitive trait mediates […]

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Introspection illusion

The introspection illusion is a cognitive bias in which people wrongly think they have direct insight into the origins of their mental states, while treating others’ introspections as unreliable. In certain situations, this illusion leads people to make confident but false explanations of their own behavior (called “causal theories”) or inaccurate predictions of their future […]

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Fundamental attribution error

In social psychology, the fundamental attribution error, also known as the correspondence bias or attribution effect, is people’s tendency to place an undue emphasis on internal characteristics to explain someone else’s behavior in a given situation, rather than considering external factors. It does not explain interpretations of one’s own behavior, where situational factors are more […]

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Illusory superiority

Illusory superiority is a cognitive bias that causes people to overestimate their positive qualities and abilities and to underestimate their negative qualities, relative to others. This is evident in a variety of areas including intelligence, performance on tasks or tests, and the possession of desirable characteristics or personality traits. It is one of many positive […]

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Depressive realism

Depressive realism is the hypothesis developed by Alloy and Abramson that depressed individuals make more realistic inferences than non-depressed individuals. Although depressed individuals are thought to have a negative cognitive bias that results in recurrent, negative automatic thoughts, maladaptive behaviors, and dysfunctional world beliefs, depressive realism argues not only that this negativity may reflect a more accurate […]

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Naive realism

Naive realism is the theoretical basis for several social cognitive biases proposed by Lee Ross and Andrew Ward. It has also been studied by Emily Pronin, Thomas Gilovich and Dale Griffin. The three “tenets” of naive realism are: That I see entities and events as they are in objective reality, and that my social attitudes, beliefs, […]

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Hindsight bias

Hindsight bias, also known as the knew-it-all-along effect or creeping determinism, is the inclination to see events that have already occurred as being more predictable than they were before they took place. It is a multifaceted phenomenon that can affect different stages of designs, processes, contexts, and situations. Hindsight bias may cause memory distortion, where the recollection […]

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False-consensus effect

In psychology, the false-consensus effect or false-consensus bias is a cognitive bias whereby a person tends to overestimate how many people agree with him or her. There is a tendency for people to assume that their own opinions, beliefs, preferences, values, and habits are “normal” and that others also think the same way that they […]

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Hot-cold Empathy Gap

A hot-cold empathy gap is a cognitive bias in which a person underestimates the influences of visceral drives, and instead attributes behavior primarily to other, nonvisceral factors. The term hot-cold empathy gap was coined by Carnegie Mellon University psychologist, George Loewenstein. Hot-cold empathy gaps are one of Loewenstein’s major contributions to behavioral economics. The crux […]

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Curse of Knowledge

The curse of knowledge is a cognitive bias according to which better-informed people find it extremely difficult to think about problems from the perspective of lesser-informed people. The effect was first described in print by the economists Colin Camerer, George Loewenstein and Martin Weber, though they give original credit for suggesting the term to Robin […]

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Dunning–Kruger Effect

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude. Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. […]

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