12 Cognitive Biases Explained – How to Think Better and More Logically Removing Bias


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12 Cognitive Biases Explained - How to Think Better and More Logically Removing Bias

We are going to be explaining 12 cognitive biases in this video and presenting them in a format that you can easily understand to help you make better decision in your life. Cognitive biases are flaws in logical thinking that clear the path to bad decisions, so learning about these ideas can reduce errors in your thought process, leading to a more successful life. These biases are very closely related to logical fallacies, which may help you win an argument or present information better.

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1)Anchoring Bias
2)Availability Heuristic bias
3)Bandwagon Bias
4)Choice Supportive Bias
5)Confirmation Bias
6)Ostrich Bias
7)Outcome Bias
8)Overconfidence
9)Placebo bias
10)Survivorship Bias
11)Selective Perception Bias
12)Blind Spot Bias

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Peter Baumann explains the pervasiveness and usefulness of bias in human cognition.

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Transcript – Well biases are one of the most interesting phenomena in evolution and I would go as far as saying there’s nothing that’s not a bias. I mean we are biased to live in a certain temperature range and we prefer sweet food to over bitter food. So biases are essential. They really guide us in a broader sense so that we don’t hurt ourselves, you know, bias towards feeling solid ground rather than wobbling ground. The interesting thing is really not to try to do away with these biases but to really recognize them and not to see them as something negative. And yet to really understand that they cloud our clear thinking and, you know, that goes anywhere from self-deception to uniqueness bias that we think and hey, I’m one of the first ones to think I’m very unique and, you know, basically the brain evolved for us to make ourselves special, to think of us as valuable. Otherwise we would not be able to go through the strains and the struggles and difficulties of life.

So bias is in any case negativity bias, positive bias, confirmation bias — all of these are so ingrained in us that we don’t even see them. They are kind of transparent for us. So the way that I like to look at it is the more we can detect them and become aware of it, it’s kind of a hide and seek, you know. They come out of left field and the more we can become aware of them and discover them, it’s actually quite amusing how we twist reality in a way that confirms our particular view of the world. So I don’t see them as something that’s obstructing a healthy, good, positive life but it narrows the window. And the more we become aware of them the broader we can approach and the closer we can get to reality.

Well confirmation bias is probably one of the most pronounced biases that we have. And anybody who’s ever bought a car and thought for a while about what kind of car they want to buy, they probably notice suddenly, oh yeah, there is that car. There is that car again. And suddenly the brain kind of detects in the environment something that confirms like, oh yes, that seems like a really good car. So confirmation bias is really a way for us to reaffirm our view of the world and to some degree it’s actually essential. If we didn’t have some kind of confirmation bias we would be lost. We could not piece together a world that is coherent for us. So we have to ignore certain things and other things become a little louder. And confirmation bias is different in different cultures, you know, for some cultures in a big, broad shouldered person is very attractive and in others it’s a very elegant person or a very lively person.

And, you know, I come from Germany so in Germany the confirmation bias is towards don’t make a mistake, you know. Get everything proper and in order and get it right. So confirmation bias is really essential and yet it’s really valuable to recognize that what we perceive and how we view it as completely twisted by our internal biases.

I believe the value in becoming aware of biases is that it gives you the opportunity of having a little larger perspective. The danger of not being aware of it that we think we are right. So the value in understanding confirmation biases is that when we’re in some kind of discussion or when we go into a different culture that we recognize, you know. The world looks different for other people and it’s not that mine is right or better or theirs is right or better and I cannot really force them to see it my way and they cannot force me to see it their way. So recognizing that confirmation bias is completely ingrained allows us to chuckle sometimes, you know, when we kind of insist on a particular way of seeing the world whether that’s politically or whether it’s social. It’s very important. It allows us to actually listen to other people better and drop the confirmation bias maybe for a moment.

There’s not any particular bias that I would recognize that’s more important than the other. But I do find the uniqueness bias especially amusing, you know, that we consider ourselves to be unique. And the reason I believe that we have a uniqueness bias is that we are the only person that we’re with 24 hours a day so we have far more information about ourselves, about our bodies, about our history, about our capacities. So it takes up much, much more space in our inner universe so to say. And because we have so much more detail about ourselves and our own lives, it looms much larger than anybody else.

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40 Comments

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  1. #2 The problem with these statistics is that, for example, I should be more concerned of getting killed by an terrorist than by the police, a coconut, a tv or a cow because. 1. I never expose myself for coconuts, we don't have coconut trees here. 2. I'm not a criminal so I'm not gonna get killed by the police. 3. People don't throw TV's out of the window nowadays. 4 I'm not hanging out with cows. But I can't control what a terrorist does, the other factors I can control.

  2. Hello Buddy, This looks interesting..!! Appreciate this.. What should be an individuals reactions to this… How to control or react to these this.. Sharing solutions would help better…

  3. Our world is created by us, our perceptions greats thoughts, feelings, and the world around you including the people you are around. We are just chemical makeups, action, reaction, continue.

  4. Wouldn't it be more logical to expose yourself to thinking logically through maths class and science classes? or just that most people prefer to intake verbal information and specifically psychology?

  5. Trust me, the world is going to get mad trying to be right, to be informed, to find the truth. There's no absolute truth, so no one will ever find it.

  6. What a stupid analysis of terrorism. Coconuts falling on people's heads aren't the same as people walking into a mall or a concert and blowing people up. Your analysis of fallacies is filled with.. fallacious thinking. Ridiculous.

  7. "If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?" This is a common question, used to challenge a decision based on the bandwagon effect. It challenges someone to consider whether something is really a good idea, even if everyone else does it (in this case, friends). The sentence is, upon closer analysis, a straw man attack that over-extrapolates the bandwagon effect.

  8. You are a good example of fucking selective perception … We brown people aren't some fucking monkeys who dont matter you shit head. People die in Syria and Africa aren't some filthy trash than your coconut attacking.

  9. I don't agree with his examples of bias. Biases are irrational. That's what makes them bad! Preferring to be on stable ground rather than wobbling ground is not a bias. On wobbling ground you're more likely to fall down and hurt yourself. Preferring to be alive rather than dead is not a bias!

  10. On Uniqueness "bias".

    Complexity and uniqueness tend go hand in hand. Naturally certain questions arise when discussing the definitive features of a person. What defines a person? How specific do we get; what is the resolution of inquiry?

    If you imagine experience is fundamental, and that all aspects of a person are derived from experience then it becomes even harder to imagine sameness.
    I will say it again. If each experience shapes a person, even in some small way, then it becomes harder and harder to imagine sameness across a large group of free people.

    It seems to me you have to either disagree with the notion that experience shapes what it means to be us, or disregard the details of experiences which would clearly be unique in order to arrive at the conclusion that each of us are not in fact unique. 7 billion people is a lot of people, however the odds of getting the same combination of pieces when each set contains a large number of variables is mind mindbogglingly small. Another way of saying this is that it does not take many variables to make a large set of unique combinations.

    It seems to me this particular "bias" is more about resolution of inquiry, or philosophy and what you think defines a person, than it is about psychology.

    On one end you have individuals dismissing the features of personality the opposition points at, essentially claiming they are trivial. Then the rebuttal points out the arbitrary nature of the level of inquiry chosen. Philosophically speaking it should be clear how impossible the task of deciding what goes into defining even a simple thing, no less a complex thing. 

    Now, most people think they are special, this IMHO is not the same at all. You could be unique, and not special at all. Again I strongly feel this is more a matter or scale, or resolution, than of uniqueness. 1+1=2, and that is always true. In a set of 3 [1,2,3], each are unique, but not necessarily special.

    Uniqueness is a objective mathematical concept, being special is a subjective and in line with psychological aspects of bias. It may be unwieldy to call it special bias, or specialness bias or feeling special bias, but the term unique just makes a mess of the meanings involved and the focus of the topic.

    .02

  11. "When we're in some kind of discussion or we go into a different culture, [it is important] that we recognize that the world looks different for other people…" 

    Recognizing cognitive bias may be an important issue. However, even the idea of bringing up the topic of confirmation bias is in itself confirmation bias; the idea that in our Western cultures we value the discussion of biases as opposed to not, because of the societies in which we are raised. From a linguistic anthropological perspective, it is even ingrained into the kinds of phrases we use, such as "Do as the Romans do." We value cultural differences and when we are faced with different ideas upon entering a new culture, we believe the best discourse is to try our best and assimilate into that culture, whether it be to learn a bit of the language, try some of the foods, or try and understand the local beliefs. 

    However, this concept is not universally held. For the thousands of Muslims entering Western Europe, or Latin Americans coming into the United States, just as an example, are they really sitting down and pondering, "Hey, we all have cognitive biases, and maybe the best way of dealing with intercultural relations is to recognize those biases and put in an effort in regards to local assimilation?" 

    We ourselves recognize that the world is different and we should try to follow in the footsteps of those from the culture in which we enter. It is generally looked down upon to not learn at least some of the language and gestures of the host country, not dress in an appropriate fashion, and not try to regard the beliefs of those as different but equal to our own. We our quick to condemn those who do not adopt the local customs as "arrogant" or "ignorant Westerners." We do this to ourselves, but why do we not hold the same standard for those entering our own cultures? Why do we not ask those entering our cultures to check THEIR biases at the front door in regard to understanding our cultures? At worst, we are labeled as "intolerant" for believing that someone entering our culture should try and adopt some of our ways while they are there, yet when we go abroad we call ourselves "intolerant" for NOT adopting the local customs.

  12. “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”

    Leo Tolstoy

  13. Biases keeps us away from anxiety but also slows down character development even intelligence in some degree. Like most of things in life, there is a trade off. 

  14. Sometimes I think I'd be better off if I had never heard of logical fallacies, cognitive biases, Socratic ignorance, etc.. I'd be quite dumb, yes, but very confident.

  15. Somehow I have a feeling that a lot of the things that might come easy to a person (a skill,an ability,a talent,a fondness for something etc),if they follow/make sedgeways to different abilities or topics only b/c it's related to the thing they found easy,they've essentially built a centering point that starts with what came the easiest/most organic to them and learned to accomadate the other things in their life around that.

    I think that may count as an example of how confirmation bias can be used to make a pattern of the world (or *a world"=reality being the sum of our social interactions in this case) where things confirm to what we know of."Perception is the most important" factor,homies.

    As for saying that "There's not any particular bias that I would recognize that's more important than the other",I kindly quasi-disagree;the self-preservation bias –(it) has a nifty spot at the bottom of the old Maslow's hiearchy of needs for a reason,eh?.Yet even that can hit the road sometimes:refer to "I robot" or when we put our lives at risk for loved ones.The self-preservation bias isn't really hampered with unless their's a weighty justification that presents itself to it,ussually something extreme,specific and stuff that ppl regularly avert.

    The uniqueness bias:does it grow or shrink with the amounts of introspection you do yourself 😉 or the amount of analysis you do to other ppl ?.