Cognitive Biases – Are You Thinking Clearly?
The world we live in has changed and you would think that the way people think has changed over time. However, even if you consider that your thinking patterns are flawless and you are pretty logical all the time, there are some things that influence your judgment and they are called cognitive biases.
You might think that after looking at these binoculars described in a complete review, everyone would get the same impression if they think about them from the same perspective – well, you might be wrong. Every individual’s thinking is biased and we are going to tell you about a few cognitive biases that might influence the way you view things.
- Confirmation bias
Let’s say that you believe that the Earth is flat. Even if it is a very hard thing to imagine, just make a mental exercise and do so. Now, you go on the internet to read about the Earth. Due to confirmation bias, you will first see the information that agrees with your beliefs.
So if you go on social media and see a shared article about how the Earth is round, you will not observe it as quickly as you would observe an article that confirms that the Earth is flat. This has a lot of implications on how we perceive the world and it sort of limits us in terms of how we can grow and challenge our beliefs.
Luckily, there is a technique that you can use that requires you to think the opposite of what you believe and bring arguments to sustain that belief. You can take this further and read articles about the shape of the Earth that are contrary to your belief in order to be able to make an objective opinion about your idea.
- The halo effect
Everywhere you look you will see headlines about how first impressions matter and how they will make a difference in how a person perceives you regardless of what happens next. When you form an opinion about someone, one of the essential things your brain looks at is how attractive that person is, it observes symmetry and beauty.
Studies have shown that people who are more attractive are considered smarter, more competent, and more honest. This might not be true in many cases and our judgment is biased by this particular aspect. This cognitive bias is called the halo effect.
The halo effect is behind the commercials that only show attractive people and behind the fact that an employer has decided to hire a beautiful secretary that is less competent than a less attractive one. This is good food for the thought and you might want to observe how this cognitive bias has influenced you so far.
- The false-consensus effect
The false-consensus effect is a cognitive bias that is represented by us believing that people agree with us and share our opinions more than they actually do, leading us to overestimate the value of our opinions and to inaccurately judge our view about the world.
This happens mostly because when we are young we live with our family or a close group of people that we share the opinions with most of the time. So we grow up thinking that this is a general thing. This is also a way to boost our self-esteem and it is easy for the brain to think that people agree with us more than they actually do.
There is a saying that advises us not to believe everything we think. It sounds odd, but if you develop a habit of questioning everything you think you open a door to growth. You might find out that you are not biased and that your thoughts about a problem are correct. However, you should challenge that as well and overcome biases as much as you can.