Wednesday, December 12, 2007

7 Thinking Errors You Probably Make

Common thinking errors explained, each backed by a scientific study. Food for thought!
clipped from
The brain isn’t a flawless piece of machinery. Although it is powerful and comes in an easy to carry container, it has it’s weaknesses. A field in psychology which studies these errors, known as biases. Although you can’t upgrade your mental hardware, noticing these biases can clue you into possible mistakes
The entire domain of the scientific method has largely been an effort to overcome the natural inclination towards bias in reasoning.
Common thinking errors
1) Confirmation Bias
Tendency to seek information to prove, rather than disprove our theories
2) Hindsight Bias
See past results as appearing more probable than they did initially
3) Clustering Illusion
See patterns where none actually exist
4) Recency Effect
Give more weight to recent data
5) Anchoring Bias
A well-known problem with negotiations
6) Overconfidence Effect
People tend to grossly overestimate their abilities
7) Fundamental Attribution Error
Mistaking personality and character traits for differences caused by situations
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