Brain basics: Cognitive biases

wait.. what? Cognitive?

cognition refers to the process of thinking. Cognitive psychology is a scientific study of the mind as an information processor!

Cognitive biases are the limitation of objective thinking, glitches in our brain. It happens because the brain takes shortcuts to process information.

The shortcut isn't always bad.
Imagine every time you have to think about how to drive or swim?
(they are stored as muscle memory) ps: muscles don’t have memory.
The brain saves the exact stimulus pattern of movement and skill required for the task. Most of our decision is based on some kind of perception.
The shortcut isn't best when taking any important decisions.

Irrationality rules the world. Most of our decisions are biased.

Simple brain game question |(Question from Daniel Kahneman book)

Q1) Is the tallest tree higher or lower than 450meters?
(Don’t google yet)
Q2) How tall is the highest tree in the world? make a guess!
If you are like most people. You have no idea about how tall the fucking tree is, so your answer is in and around 400 to 500?
At least somewhere around that. Because you got anchored to value 450m.
(Just for GK: tallest tree is 115.85m)

There exist tons of biases. I will talk about the most relevant and common.

Here we are anchored to value1000$ and when we can buy it for 250$ we feel it is an awesome deal. We heavily rely on the first information we receive.
Even in a negotiation, initial price sets the tone for the bargain!
A: 500rs?
B: 400?
A: 450?
B: Deal!

The kind of news and information you consume impacts your decision making.

Which is more likely? Death by shark attack or death by falling coconut?
If you have seen movies related to shark killing humans, you would definitely say shark. Because you can recall available information of shark attacking humans, but not that of coconut.

the static number may vary

Now you may think, is it a big deal? actually it is. All of us are aware of how the terrorist group brainwash people.

Do you realise how mainstream is used to spread hate speech and propaganda? You start believing what you see. The fact may be far fetched from it.

reading news about lottery winners, makes us believe the probability of us winning is higher. Which is obviously bs!

People do something primarily because other people are doing it, regardless of their own beliefs, which they may ignore or override. This has a huge implication on lifestyle, politics, music, etc. The trend is created by the bandwagon effect.

Stock market — when a lot of people start buying a stock, many others join.
“Warren Buffett Effect” is the positive (or negative) impact that is felt in the markets when Warren Buffett is buying or selling a position.

Retail industry — people in Q for the latest apple product

You defend your choice because you made that choice. Regardless of the current situation, you keep supporting.

You keep supporting the political party on all issues because you voted for them, even though they are not doing the best after coming to power.

People who have bought Apple product keep sayings it better than windows/ android. So that they remain intact with their previous choice.

You make un-necessary shopping, then defend it by saying yes I will have use for it soon, marriage is coming up, my jean is old already..etc

You only see the kind of information you want to see.

Most controversial topic: Alcohol

If your confirmation is alcohol is good for health. Then all you will see is the benefits of drinks, you will only google “how good moderate drinking is”

If your confirmation is alcohol is bad for health. Then all you will see, how it damage liver and related diseases.
I’m not telling one is right or wrong. Because there is no right or wrong!

Most commonly heard. A 2014 study trusted Source assessed how the labelling of drugs affected episodic migraine in people. People were given normal vitamin tablets instead of a pain killer, but they felt they got better soon after taking the pill.
The pill had no effect, fact that you believe taking the pill will relief you from pain does effect.

Loss aversion refers to our tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses over acquiring gains.

If you lost 1000rs that pain would hurt more than the satisfaction you get from making 1000rs. That’s why fear is such a powerful emotion.
This is quite similar to Sunk Cost Fallacy
You bought a movie ticker for 500rs and is watching the movie, and you get to know it’s a pathetic movie and you don't want to watch it.
Most people will watch the full movie since you already invested in it. Forgetting you are wasting time continuing to watch the movie.

And Many More

There are a lot more glitches we make in our everyday life. Knowing and learning about them will help you understand your own decision. Marketing world uses most of these to push their products. Their goal is to imprint certain messages to the unconscious mind. It is your responsibility to filter what goes in. 90% of our decision-making is unconscious!

with enough times repeated, word happiness is associated with coke. Thus giving coke a positive outlook.

Compact the basis and be a Critical thinker

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing” — Socrates

Simple practical tips:
* Before making any high-value purchase sleep on the decision for a day or two. If you still want it, then only buy it.
* Listen to others arguments
* Be okay with saying “I was wrong”

Insta : Tech Savy | Engineer | psychology enthusiast