In the world of research in the art of thinking, there is a term known as cognitive bias or a kind of thinking error that occurs because of a prejudice embedded in a person’s mind.
This cognitive bias often makes a person no longer objectively sees a reality, and in the end makes his decision results inaccurate.
This cognitive bias makes our minds no longer clear in processing information.
There are more than fifty cognitive biases that have been found in research into the way we humans think and make decisions.
Now, I will only discuss some of them in a very succinct manner.
Here are some well-known examples of cognitive bias that we practice, often without realizing it.
This first cognitive bias is called confirmation bias or our tendency to always seek and listen to information that confirms or justifies what we like (or according to the preferences we think).
We tend to be reluctant to seek information that contradicts the preferences we already have.
Confirmation bias is very common during elections and this bias makes many people no longer look at reality objectively.
Why? Because this person only wants to read and listen to information that matches his preferences; and totally indifferent to information that contradicts his choice.
As a result, the decision making process is not optimal, and fails to produce quality decisions.
Another cognitive bias that we encounter frequently is the anchoring bias. Behavioral economic research shows that the first number we see will always serve as an anchor for making comparisons.
This anchoring bias is often used by sellers by giving a high initial price, then crossing it out, and giving it a new, cheaper price.
This simple technique, according to empirical research, is very effective in persuading potential customers to make a purchase.
Why? Because they will think the new price is more economical, because it is much cheaper than the first price which has been written off (and this first price will always be the anchor of comparison).
Another bias that likes to emerge is survivor bias, which is a kind of bias that considers success easy because it is everywhere.
This bias arises because many media only report on people who survive and achieve success. In fact, among the stories of Famous People, there are hundreds of thousands of people who fail.
However, only those who survive and succeed are reported by various media, while those who do not survive and fail rarely appear in the news.
Why are those who fail and do not survive are rarely reported? Maybe because people are so embarrassed to report their failures, so they are closed from the media.
Naturally, if you fail, people are sometimes shy and tend to cover up their stories of failure.
On the other hand, successful people want to be reported to be more proud (and therefore more open to the media).
For other reasons, it may also be that the media find success stories to be easier to sell than to report failures.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for us to learn more from failure stories than from success stories.
Whatever the reason, this biased survivor gives the impression that success is easy and ubiquitous.
In fact, not. There are millions of others who failed and never appeared on the surface.
Availability bias. This is a bias that often occurs on social media. This bias occurs when a person relies solely on one piece of evidence that he sees around him and immediately concludes that what he sees represents all events.
An example of availability bias is, for example someone says that heavy drinkers are not dangerous, the proof is that my grandfather is a heavy drinker and until now he is 85 years old.
This is called availability bias, which is very wrong. Namely taking one fact to conclude everything.
Even though the fact is that there are tens of millions of people who die from drinking excess alcohol (but this fact is ignored because the person has never seen it himself, or has never listened to the data).
This availability bias is very dangerous. Because people draw conclusions based on only one very limited number of data, and then generalize as if things were like that.
Sunk Cost Fallacy
This bias is known as sunk cost fallacy or often called commitment escalation.
Meaning: when a person has invested money, energy and thought in a particular project or activity, he will tend to keep it forever, even though it has proven to be unprofitable.
Example of sunk cost fallacy: I’ve been wet in this line of business. He is already attached emotionally to this business activity and is reluctant to let it go even though it is no longer profitable.
Another example of sunk-cost fallacy: reluctance to break up because you have been in a long relationship even though it doesn’t feel right anymore.
But it would be a shame to break up, because a lot of time and thought has been invested in it. This is also called the fallacy sunk cost trap.
Sunck’s fallacy can cost us another, better chance.
Why? Because when we stick to old choices that are no longer profitable, we automatically ignore other opportunities that might yield much better results.
These are some of the types of cognitive pitfalls that we encounter and even experience ourselves. When discussed briefly, some of these cognitive pitfalls are:
- Confirmation Bias : We just want to hear what we want
- Anchoring Bias : The first number will always be the reference for comparison
- Survivor Bias : Only success stories are often told
- Availability Bias : Generalize based on only one data
- Sunk Cost Fallacy : We find it difficult to move on