Cognitive Bias

Cognitive Bias is a known error in the thinking process. These are generally caused by brain using shortcuts to process large amount of inputs.

Every cognitive bias is there for a reason - primarily to save our brains time or energy. If you look at them by the problem they’re trying to solve, it becomes a lot easier to understand why they exist, how they’re useful, and the trade-offs(resulting mental errors) that they introduce.

Cognitive Biases mainly addresses these issues...

  1. Information overload - Our brain filters out information that it thinks is not important. There is too much information available - its not practical to process all of it.
  2. Need for meaning - The world is too complex to understand fully. So we compensate by filling in the gaps of our understanding to make better sense of it - or at least have a belief that we have an understanding of the world. We assign meaning to the world - we do our own sense making.
  3. Need to act fast - We evolved with the need to make quick decisions when faced with limited time and information. This programming continues in the present time in form of these cognitive biases.
  4. Deciding what to remember - We have to prioritise what to remember and what to discard. We have a set of filters that will help us do this - but it can cause issues too.

Everything I have learned about Cognitive Biases is recorded in the Thinking Flaws site.