Quick Definition: Deviations in judgement that lead to illogical practices
A cognitive bias is a pattern of deviation in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion. Individuals create their own “subjective social reality” from their perception of the input. An individual’s construction of social reality, not the objective input, may dictate their behaviour in the social world.Thus, cognitive biases may sometimes lead to perceptual distortion, inaccurate judgment, illogical interpretation, or what is broadly called irrationality.
Name Description Fundamental Attribution Error (FAE) Also known as the correspondence bias (Baumeister & Bushman, 2010) is the tendency for people to over-emphasize personality-based explanations for behaviours observed in others. At the same time, individuals under-emphasize the role and power of situational influences on the same behaviour. Jones and Harris’ (1967) classic study illustrates the FAE. Despite being made aware that the target’s speech direction (pro-Castro/anti-Castro) was assigned to the writer, participants ignored the situational pressures and attributed pro-Castro attitudes to the writer when the speech represented such attitudes. Confirmation bias The tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions. In addition, individuals may discredit information that does not support their views. The confirmation bias is related to the concept of cognitive dissonance. Whereby, individuals may reduce inconsistency by searching for information which re-confirms their views (Jermias, 2001, p. 146). Self-serving bias The tendency to claim more responsibility for successes than failures. It may also manifest itself as a tendency for people to evaluate ambiguous information in a way beneficial to their interests. Belief bias When one’s evaluation of the logical strength of an argument is biased by their belief in the truth or falsity of the conclusion. Framing Using a too-narrow approach and description of the situation or issue. Hindsight bias Sometimes called the “I-knew-it-all-along” effect, is the inclination to see past events as being predictable.
For other noted biases, see List of cognitive biases.