Questions tagged [bias]

For questions about systematic patterns of deviation in judgment from normative decision-theoretic expectations.

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1answer
2k views

How do brain zaps occur?

I've recently witnessed someone undergoing brain zaps and subsequent panic attacks after having stopped their SSRI medication and 48 hours partying with heavy boozing and no sleep. Having reviewed ...
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Are there any studies that test for preference between balls and blocks in infants?

I was getting in the old round corners vs square corners conversation and the majority of arguments for rounded corners revolve around our subconscious desire for natural round things over artificial ...
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106 views

What is the bias called when listening to the same sound repeatedly?

When people are made to listen to the same sounds repeatedly, it can trigger placebo effects, i.e., they think they've heard something new or different the $ Nth $ time around, when in fact they haven'...
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40 views

What is the best way to reduce measurement biases when studying topics that can evoke insecurity?

I'm interested in measurement biases relating to self reporting in surveys. To add more context: Under some circumstances, people have been known to add a positive spin when surveyed regarding goals ...
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79 views

Quantification of tendency for people to believe what is convenient

As a generalization, people have a bias towards believing what is convenient to them and/or doesn't challenge their worldview. I believe (though correct me if I'm wrong) this is linked to status quo ...
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How to assess the rationality of real-life decisions?

I am looking for scales that measure the extent to which the process by which a person arrived at a real-life decision conformed to the principles of decision theory. I am specifically interested in ...
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Does Golden Hammer really exist?

Note: I am not talking about Law of the instrument. I am referring to the following (anti-)pattern of behavior: A person very competent in one area (say, Philosophy) peremptorily expressing his ...
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What bias is responsible for people perceiving immediate and sudden value over long time value delivery as more? [closed]

I have a scenario where people are receiving a massive value of not getting sick and dying in a relatively long period but not valuing it as much as short term solutions that make them feel better ...
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140 views

Is satisficing conceptualised as being unconscious/automatic, or conscious/volitional?

I haven't found anything that speaks directly to this question, but here is the account Simon (1990) p9 provides of satisficing If the task domain has little structure or the structure is unknown ...
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Cognitive bias of comparing numbers on a relative scale

Is there a name for the bias of comparing numbers on a relative scale? Here are a few examples. The car salesman sells you a \$900 navigation system as an up-sell to a \$30,000 car. It doesn't seem ...
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How do clinicians control for their own mental disorders?

Has any research been done on how clinicians' (either internists or psychiatrists) known psychological conditions influence the diagnoses, misdiagnoses, and prognoses they make? And, related to that, ...
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Why do children tend to choose the last option in a two-alternative forced choice task?

If I ask my toddler if she wants bananas or apples, she will consistently choose apples. The same goes for colors, other related objects, or even seemingly unrelated items - She always chooses last. ...
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Are some cognitive bias universal? If yes, which one? [closed]

Many studies show that humans are subject to “cognitive bias” such as the loss aversion or, ingroup vs outgroup, or negativity bias. These studies often claim that the cognitive biases are universal ...
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Why we are more optimistic about ourselves and our peers and pessimistic about others?

I watched a ted talk which is about optimism bias by Tali Sharot. It stated that we are more optimistic about ourselves and our peers and we are more passimistic about others.But, I can't find an apt ...
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309 views

When does Just World Theory apply?

Can someone explain how Just World Theory applies in real life? I have learned about it from textbooks but have trouble believing parts of it. Does it always apply? For example does it apply to ...
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107 views

Is there a cognitive bias which describes expert communities' overestimation of their potential impact?

I was recently trying to argue that the Democratic National Committee's efforts to undermine the Bernie Sanders campaign were probably ineffective, and that those who attempted to do so probably ...
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138 views

Does knowing a word for an emotion cause a person to feel the emotion more frequently?

I am aware of the Frequency Illusion which makes it more likely for us to notice a new word if we just heard about it recently, but I was wondering if this is true for emotions as well. Logically, I ...
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How do you call the cognitive bias of not seeing self as the common denominator?

Imagine an Italian person is living in London. A poll on the street asks them to estimate the total number of Italians in London. This person then gives a highly incorrect, overblown guess. It's ...
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What's this cognitive bias that relates to misremembering exact stimuli?

Say a participant is shown a reference stimulus of white colour. Afterwards, they are shown a number of test stimuli that range from yellow to blue like this (yellow -> less_yellow -> whitish -> white ...
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What cognitive bias prevents you from discarding stuff?

Let's say person is moving homes and has lots of kids toys, suits, shirts, ties and other stuff that he seldom uses. He is am planning to sell it all in a car boot sale even if he knows that it's ...
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770 views

Biases in subjective survey

What are the commonly observed biases in survey and are there any statistical or non-statistical methods to avoid it? I am conducting a survey for automobile seat comfort, I think my current ...
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281 views

Using Cognitive biases for behavior change?

I'm interested in using cognitive biases as basis for behavior change, similar to what we see in gaminfication (e.g. instant gratification to hook people to continue playing). I'm new to the field and ...
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Links between biases and personality?

I was thinking of how a lot of people are biased against overweight people. . One of the answers considers how we tend to "take part" with those that remind us of ourselves, and we are biased against ...
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Why are people biased against overweight people?

Several studies have shown that alot of people are biased to underestimate\undervalue overweight people: http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2013/06/06/188891906/the-fat-shaming-professor-a-twitter-...
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Anonymity creates an environment full of bullies?

The Stack Exchange websites has people anonymously up vote or down vote whether questions and answers are good or bad and everyone builds their reputation based on this alone. I saw a question on the ...
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Name the bias when one attributes all group successes to the individual they're in contact with the most

This is the fallacy when one assumes that all successful outcomes were most likely thanks to that one individual that they always communicate with, and fail to recognize (consciously or subconsciously)...
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342 views

Is it possible to be completely impartial when considering yourself?

Consider the following quotation by Poulain de la Barre: Everything that has been written by men about women should be viewed with suspicion, because they are both judge and party. Is it possible ...
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Is it possible to present/perceive information objectively? [closed]

A recent project has brought an interesting thought to mind. Hopefully this is the correct format to ask this question, as I'm unsure where else I'd receive an educated response. (possibly philosopy? ...
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63 views

What is the name for the cognitive bias that ignores that extreme symptoms always tend to get less extreme?

There are some long term diseases where the severity of your symptoms tend towards a 'normal'. So imagine plotting out the severity of the symptoms say, every day or every week, then drawing a line of ...
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582 views

Academic Background for Switchtracking Phenomenon

In one recent episode of Hidden Brain podcast, they talk about a pattern in conversation called "Switchtracking". It references to the the "Thanks for the Feedback" book by Douglas Stone and Sheila ...
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What is the psychological term for disregarding correct but unwanted information?

Sometimes people seem to be very resistant to information that is in conflict with prior beliefs, even when this new information is very plausible. For example, a patient might change a doctor, ...
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Why do we always wake up at the climax of our dreams, even when it is an alarm that wakes us?

I know that it probably has something to do with the fact that our dreams didn't really end at the same time our alarm clock rang, our brains just make us think so for some reason.
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Are men subject to optimism bias when it comes to assessing their sexual/romantic appeal?

Intuitively, I imagine that men are strongly subject to optimism bias when dating, and in particular facing rejection. (ie. not believing that she's really not attracted to him). My question is: ...
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Is there a term for not recognizing that other people think differently, or projecting your thought patterns on others?

For example I might make the argument that 'Women don't face discrimination in the workplace' or that 'There isn't actually any racism anymore'* because I myself don't think in an explicitly racist or ...
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What cognitive bias is it when an (ideally objective) evaluation is influenced by the prior opinion of another person?

I'm looking for the name of the cognitive bias that describes the following phenomenon: Person A asks person B to evaluate and give feedback on a certain topic (a student, a manuscript etc), ...
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Thinking Fast and Slow: Similarity of Linda problem and Dinnerware case

While reading Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking, Fast and Slow" I've been stuck on the claim that Linda case and Dinnerware case have the same structure. Linda problem: Linda is thirty-one years old, ...
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110 views

Name of cognitive bias when you diminish one's competency based on someone else's for the same function?

Let's say you have a REALLY good manager, and he leaves. So you tend to underestimate/judge the next manager's competencies because the previous one was really good. How you call the cognitive bias ...
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Has anyone ever conducted a psychological experiment to test whether an arbitrator appointed by one party tends to judge in favour of that party?

I am interested in the case where the arbitrator has been unilaterally appointed by one of the parties in a conflict. Assume that economic rewards are not involved. I am only interested in knowing if ...
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112 views

How else can we eliminate wrong underlying beliefs, when even science fails?

Source: Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?, 2015 March, by Joel Achenbach [Andrew] Shtulman [of Occidental College] ’s research indicates that as we become scientifically literate, we ...
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286 views

How can I structure this question to check for availability bias?

I'm preparing a survey right now and one of the questions I'm looking to answer is: How much does availability bias effect the decision making process for [given behaviour]? My question is: What's ...
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Why do people fear statistically unlikely things?

Over 10 times more people die in circulatory diseases than accidents (source). Nevertheless people (in general) fear accidents more than circulatory disease. There are statistically even more ...
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153 views

Do depressed people think that they always thought in such a negative way?

I feel like I may have read or heard a finding that depressed people may get the delusion that they always used to think in such a negative way as has begun since getting depression. Is it so?
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Confirmation vs peak-end bias - when does it make sense to "save the best for last"?

This question is inspired by Should I give the interviewers surprise? on Academia.SE. The strategy of "save the best for last" seems to be affected in conflicting ways by two cognitive biases: ...
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333 views

Is there a name for reading things how you meant to write them?

I'm sure many of us have this experience: When I'm proofreading my own writing I will pass over it multiple times, but miss mistakes since I read what I intended to write (what's "in my head") and ...
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129 views

What is the name of a cognitive bias by which existing facts are tailored to fit a personal hypothesis?

What is the name of a cognitive bias where a person takes all of their knowledge of a particular subject (at a point in time) and arranges it in a hypothesis or world model that makes sense to that ...
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270 views

Does fixing cognitive biases do more harm than use?

The Kahneman–Tversky interpretation of biases as deviation from rationality was challenged by Gigerenzer on the basis that heuristics help making decisions and, thus, rational from the evolutionary ...
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1answer
137 views

Are cognitive biases hardwired in the brain or they are acquired during lifetime?

The Kahneman–Tversky interpretation of biases as deviation from rationality was challenged by Gigerenzer on the basis that heuristics help making decisions and, thus, rational from the evolutionary ...
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Is memory biased towards positive or negative memories?

I am trying to understand the relationship between positive/negative memories and the congruence of memory to existing beliefs. These quotes are from Wikipedia, presented in alphabetical order: ...
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Does expecting to be in a safe situation elicit unsafe behavior? [closed]

When the traffic light is red you are aware that a car might comes rushing in. So you are extra careful and always check the street before you actual cross the street. But one the other hand if you ...
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Can a person be able to objectively identify when and how their thinking process is being affected by cognitive biases?

or years, I've always thought I can do a pretty good job of identifying when I have committed a bias, fallacy or some other heuristic. I'm not saying I avoid them, but at least can admit to myself I ...