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Distinction Bias: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices

Distinction bias

Is the tendency to over-value the effect of small quantitative differences when comparing options.

For example: we think a 1,200 square foot home will make us happier than a 1,000 square foot home. We think earning $70,000 a year will make us happier than earning $60,000 a year.

Mostly encountered in when we are in the situations of buying something new.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Distinction Bias: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices

Distinction Bias: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices

https://www.nirandfar.com/distinction-bias/

nirandfar.com

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Key Ideas

Overcome distinction bias

  • Don’t compare options side by side: In comparison mode, we end up spending too much time playing “spot the difference.” Instead, evaluate each choice individually and on their own merit.
  • Know your “Must-Haves” before you look for something to buy: that way, you won't get suckered into features you don’t really need.
  • Optimize for things you can’t get used to: your happiness will adjust back to anything that is stable and certain like your income, the size of your house, or the quality of your TV.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Confirmation bias

Is the human tendency to seek, interpret and remember information that confirms pre-existing beliefs. 

It affects every choice you make and it all happens in the background withou...

Confirmation bias affects you in 3 ways:
  1. How you seek information - how you look at the world around you
  2. How you interpret the information in front of you - the information you process tends to favour your beliefs
  3. How you remember things - you interpret and possibly even change memories and facts in your head based on your beliefs
Being wrong and self-image

You seek evidence that confirms your beliefs because being wrong feels unpleasant.

Being wrong means you’re not as smart as you thought. So you end up seeking information that confirms what you already know.

2 more ideas

The peak-end rule
The peak-end rule

Is a cognitive bias that impacts how people remember past events. 

We don’t remember experiences accurately. Rather, we tend to recall the highlights and how things end. This appl...

Taking advantage of the Peak-end rule
  • End on a high note: to make better memories, always consider how you will end an experience.
  • More peaks, more memories: getting out there, even if it hurts, can create lasting memories if it leads to an intense payoff. 
  • Small bursts will do: we don’t need an experience to be long to make a positive memory.
Overcoming hyperbolic discounting
  • Empathize with your future self: You put things off to future you because it’s easy to assume that future you has boundless energy and motivation. Unfortunately, that perfect visio...