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The tendency to blame others for your mistakes out of self-protection.
Example: Brad scapegoats Jill for submitting a bad company report even though he did all the research.
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A quick note about cognitive biases.
What are they?
Why is knowing about them crucial?
All humans make systematic errors in thinking—hurting our judgment.
Being aware of cognitive biases wi...
We privilege our “objective” view of reality over all others.
Example: “I see things for what they are—everyone else is misinformed.”
We put too much trust in automated systems to fix our mistakes.
Example: “Grammarly suggested it; therefore, it’s correct.”
We see ourselves as more immune to media than others.
Example: “See how brainwashed you’ve become?!”
We make irrational decisions just to avoid conflict.
Example: Jackie wants to go bowling. Joe wants to buy a cake for a dinner party. You suggest getting a cake in the shape of a bowling ball.
We go against orders, especially when we see them as an assault on our freedoms.
Example: “I don’t care if your sign says masks are required. I can do whatever I want.”
Believing the world to be inherently just, we interpret injustice as bad karma.
Example: Jackie broke her ankle because she made fun of Jill’s medical condition.
Focusing on one trait (positive or negative) as being indicative of the whole.
Example: “Brad must be a great entrepreneur; he’s amazing at golf!”
Equating moral superiority with a positive outcome and moral inferiority with a negative outcome.
Example: He won the election because he was morally superior to the loser.
We judge everyone else on character but blame our shortcomings on the situation.
Example: If Jane is late for work, she’s lazy. If you’re late for work, it’s because of traffic.
We make snap judgments based on the most recent information.
Example: When an airline reports a crash, ticket sales go down until people forget about the incident.
Concepts, trends, and beliefs catch on as more people validate them.
Example: Jill believes buying an LV bag will make her look chic. Janet does, too.
The overestimation of ability when one has little experience.
Example: The market firm’s new hire was confident he’d designed the perfect ad campaign, but it ended up losing money.
We believe that everyone knows the same things we do.
Example: Jane gets frustrated with her son for not understanding multiplication right away.
We make decisions based on first impressions.
Example: “The label says gluten-free. It must be good for me!”
We don’t store information in our brains that’s conveniently found online.
Example: “Who was that actor in the latest Marvel film? I’ve Googled it like ten times...”
We see ourselves reflected in things that could apply to many.
Example: “Today’s horoscope was spot-on!”
The assumption that others act only out of self-interest.
Example: “The only reason the boss gave us a bonus is to squeeze extra work out of us.”
We privilege those in our ingroup over those in an outgroup.
Example: Jackie works in your division, so you value her more than John, who works over in accounting.
We chalk failures up to the situation while taking all the credit for our successes.
Example: You earned that A through hard work & skill. Meanwhile, you got a poor grade because of external factors: bad professor, team assignment, etc.
We think people are paying far more attention to us than they are.
Example: Josh is worried everyone at work will notice he needs new shoes.
You interpret evidence that disproves your belief as a confirmation of it.
Example: You insist the world is flat because NASA faked all those photographs of Earth.
We tend to accept the outcome of an argument only if it matches what we believe.
Example: All fish can swim, and whales can swim; therefore, whales are fish.
We seek out (and retain) information that confirms what we already believe.
Example: Flat Earthers base their beliefs on a feeling, ignoring all evidence to the contrary.
Commercial art gallery manager
This is the first part of 50 cognitive biases, as tweeted in an infographic by Elon Musk.
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The blame instinct describes our tendency to find a clear, simple reason for why something bad has happened.
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