Common cognitive biases of our thought process​

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By MHT Podcasts

Eight most common cognitive biases shall be briefly discussed in this Podcast. Acknowledging our cognitive biases can be helpful in self awareness, understanding our distorted or negative thoughts, beliefs and improving our decision making skills. 

1. Negative bias:

Negative bias is the type of cognitive bias that leads our attention towards negative news rather than positive ones.  The tendency to register and also dwell on negative stimuli is associated with negative bias.

For instance, humans register insults better than praises, also remembering traumatic events is more common than positive ones.

2. Bandwagon effect:

This cognitive bias develops a tendency to follow the mass. People tend to believe or do something since many other people also do or believe in it. It is a psychological phenomenon which is also commonly known as “herd mentality”. 

A typical example of this cognitive bias can be found in the field of politics. Due bandwagon effect, candidates with popular support may cause more citizens to vote for him/her since they want to belong to the majority. Similar behaviour has been observed in many social and psychological research experiments. 

3. Illusory correlation:

Before briefing this bias, it is important to not forget that correlation does not always imply a cause and effect relationship. Illusory correlation is a fallacy of the mind, cognitive bias, assumes a cause and effect relation that does not really exist.

An example can be of an individual who thinks that all dogs bite and therefore hates them just because he was once bitten by a dog in his past. 

4. Self-Serving Bias

Common example of self serving bias is thinking that you failed a particular subject because the teacher hated you. Another example is the scenario of excelling an exam, the self serving bias associates the good grades with the hard work devoted to it rather than the relationship with the teacher.

Self-serving bias associates our positive outcomes and accomplishments to ourselves or our doings while our negative outcomes and losses are associated with other people or external factors.

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