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

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46
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4answers
4k views

What makes people easily subscribe to pseudoscientific theories?

There are many theories/disciplines that have been categorized as pseudoscience in the scientific community. The list includes many things that are regularly even quoted in media like graphology, ...
14
votes
3answers
493 views

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.
11
votes
2answers
645 views

Is it possible to quantify cognitive bias?

We know that bias exists, and that it affects our judgment and perception. This effect has to do with user's experience in life. That experience is taken care of by the brain, and if you counter a ...
11
votes
2answers
273 views

How can the success of Bayesian models be reconciled with demonstrations of heuristic and biased reasoning?

In recent years, Bayesian models of cognition have been used - with considerable success - to explain human reasoning in a variety of inferential tasks (Chater, Tenenbaum, & Yuille, 2006). These ...
10
votes
2answers
328 views

Bias by which we tend to accept vague descriptions of ourselves

There's an effective strategy employed by horoscopes and "psychics" where they say vague statements like "You like being with friends but you value your time alone"; statements that basically "cover ...
10
votes
2answers
273 views

What is the bias/thought process that results in distrust of “formal” knowledge in favor of “folk” knowledge?

An interesting effect I've noticed is that certain groups of people seem to accept "folk knowledge" and value it over significantly better founded "formal" or scientific knowledge. In particular this ...
9
votes
2answers
196 views

Does self-rated performance predict objective performance over and above other-rated performance?

Context: I was at a talk today where data was presented where a group of sports people ranked their own performance and everyone else in the group. This enabled self-rated performance to be ...
9
votes
2answers
165 views

What cognitive strategies diminish bias in decision-making beyond those outlined by Larrick?

Larrick (2004; pdf) offers a small number of suggestions for strategies to diminish bias in decision making, which he breaks down into four categories. "Consider the opposite". Tell decision-makers ...
7
votes
4answers
313 views

What is the name of the bias when one expects you to possess his knowledge?

What is the name of bias or fallacy when, often while in argument, someone expects you to know the same things as he does. Usually, you just say "well, how should have I known that. I'm not inside of ...
7
votes
1answer
156 views

What differences of opinion led to the Kahneman-Gigerenzer feud?

I have found many allusions to this feud, e.g. from http://nickdunbar.net/2012/05/23/thinking-fast-and-slow-by-daniel-kahneman/ and in Kahneman's trade book "Thinking, Fast and Slow". However, I have ...
7
votes
1answer
194 views

Savant syndrome and Cognitive bias

Take the case of an autistic savant with exceptional memory skills. Is this person less prone to cognitive biases involving memory skills such as availability heuristic bias than a normal person due ...
7
votes
1answer
427 views

Minimizing Halo Error

I'm working with a dataset wherein participants rate five different attributes of six device variants; the attribute ratings different variants are very tightly correlated, suggesting that this ...
7
votes
2answers
238 views

Name of the bias where someone really needs something after they find out it exists

I'm looking for the name of the cognitive bias that is expressed in the following story. A fellow coworker was instrumental in getting a 75 gallon fish tank installed in the lobby of the company that ...
7
votes
1answer
88 views

Effect of paper type on evaluation of resumes

I heard about an experiment that have shown an effect of the type of paper a resume was printed on, on the evaluation of the resume. If I remember correctly, resumes printed on heavier paper, or ...
6
votes
2answers
302 views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
49 views

What term describes the discrepancy in reported intention to vote and actual voting behaviour?

I am interested in prediction markets, where traders have a monetary incentive to bet on who they think would win in an election. I think that the financial incentive in prediction markets makes them ...
6
votes
1answer
108 views

Quantify degree to which non-diagnostic features bias category-present response

I need a measure of the degree to which each of several features biases participants to respond "yes" in a category present / absent task for each of several categories. I have stimuli defined along ...
5
votes
2answers
159 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
105 views

Is there a name for a scientist's resistance to disconfirmation of his or her theories?

Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one's beliefs or hypotheses. And some results illustrate that people set higher standards of evidence ...
5
votes
3answers
136 views

Is there a term for a person who moves from one field of expertise to a new field and has an inflated belief in their competence in the new field?

Person A has led a successful career and is very well renowned in field A. Later in life, person A moves to field B, a field they're curious about but have very little experience in. Person A ...
5
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
113 views

What are the underlying mechanisms for optimism bias?

I have asked a question before about how does smoker's decision react to new personal health information. Link here. How do people estimate smoking's impact on their mortality? Now I have a ...
5
votes
0answers
262 views

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: ...
4
votes
2answers
552 views

What is the name of the cognitive bias where an expert overestimates the knowledge of others?

I'm looking for a name of a cognitive bias that describes the following phenomenon: A person has been exposed to some area of expertise from a very early age (think 7-10), and for an extended period ...
4
votes
1answer
238 views

Can people alleviate a negative halo effect about them?

According to Wikipedia: "The halo effect or halo error is a cognitive bias in which one's judgments of a person’s character can be influenced by one's overall impression of him or her." ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

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 ...
4
votes
0answers
31 views

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 ...
4
votes
0answers
48 views

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: ...
4
votes
1answer
94 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?
3
votes
2answers
145 views

Binary classification as a cognitive strategy?

Is there any research investigating whether the human cognitive system has a tendency to reduce complex systems or spectra of data in terms of binary contrast? There are many common-sense dual ...
3
votes
3answers
148 views

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, ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
32 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
133 views

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: ...
3
votes
2answers
43 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Bias in which you judge others by what you are good at?

Motivated by this question about programming and intelligence, I've noticed that people often judge other people's competence in terms of how well they perform on the domains that they have more ...
3
votes
1answer
415 views

Are people who have a crush on someone generally delusional with respect to their crush?

This question came up in relationships.SE (still in beta) in this lengthy thread (which I hope you can get access to). Basically the disagreement goes as follows: Telling somebody with a crush ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Cognitive bias - Confirming the attitudes of your peers

Is there a well-studied cognitive bias that describes a situation in which a person expresses a positive attitude towards something because his or her's friends have a positive attitude about that ...
3
votes
1answer
809 views

What is it called when a person seeks to compare themselves to others?

What is it called when a person consciously or unconsciously looks for similarities and differences in other people's reasoning, behavior, actions or past events and compares them with his/her own ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

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, ...
3
votes
0answers
63 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

Is there a bias where long statements, books, articles, etc. are seen as more truthful?

Is there a cognitive biasing effect that makes people believe that long statements / expressions / articles / books are more truthful than short ones (assuming that they are equal semantically)?
2
votes
1answer
97 views

How to refer to the phenomenon of people only absorbing evidence which confirms their beliefs?

I knew a psychologist who was calling it self-referentiality. People are always trying to see only the sentence which confirm their beliefs. What's the correct name for this?
2
votes
1answer
65 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
427 views

Why can't people solve a riddle if you tell them irrelevant information?

Suppose you tell a riddle to your friend, e.g. a situation puzzle: A man walks into a bar, and asks the bartender for a drink of water. The bartender pulls out a gun, points it at the man, and ...
2
votes
1answer
31 views

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), ...
2
votes
1answer
34 views

In measuring preferences, is the magnitude of the question wording effect topic-dependent?

I just read that in a survey on legalizing abortions: Responses depended strongly on the question wording. But I have also seen cases where question wording is largely irrelevant. As long as ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Why are people biased against overweight people?

Several studies have shown that alot of people are biased to underestimate\undervalue overweight people: ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Why do some people believe that life is a zero-sum game and that if you harm someone, you will benefit?

I have a strong feeling that many people consider life as a zero-sum game, i.e. they always assume that you'll benefit, if you harm/disadvantage someone. Any research on this?
2
votes
1answer
54 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 ...