Berto Jongman: Biases in Judgment and Decision-Making

IO Impotency
Berto Jongman
Berto Jongman

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Wikipedia / List of biases in judgment and decision making

Many biases in judgment and decision making have been demonstrated by research in psychology and behavioral economics. These are systematic deviations from a standard of rationality or good judgment.

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Decision-making, belief and behavioral biases

Many of these biases affect belief formation, business and economic decisions, and human behavior in general. They arise as a replicable result to a specific condition: when confronted with a specific situation, the deviation from what is normatively expected can be characterized by:

  • Ambiguity effect – the tendency to avoid options for which missing information makes the probability seem “unknown.”[8]
  • Anchoring or focalism – the tendency to rely too heavily, or “anchor,” on a past reference or on one trait or piece of information when making decisions.
  • Attentional bias – the tendency to pay attention to emotionally dominant stimuli in one’s environment and to neglect relevant data, when making judgments of a correlation or association.
  • Availability heuristic – the tendency to overestimate the likelihood of events with greater “availability” in memory, which can be influenced by how recent the memories are, or how unusual or emotionally charged they may be.
  • Availability cascade – a self-reinforcing process in which a collective belief gains more and more plausibility through its increasing repetition in public discourse (or “repeat something long enough and it will become true”).
  • Backfire effect – when people react to disconfirming evidence by strengthening their beliefs.[9]
  • Bandwagon effect – the tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same. Related to groupthink and herd behavior.
  • Base rate fallacy or base rate neglect – the tendency to base judgments on specifics, ignoring general statistical information.[10]
  • Belief bias – an effect where someone’s evaluation of the logical strength of an argument is biased by the believability of the conclusion.[11]
  • Bias blind spot – the tendency to see oneself as less biased than other people, or to be able to identify more cognitive biases in others than in oneself.[12]
  • Choice-supportive bias – the tendency to remember one’s choices as better than they actually were.[13]
  • Clustering illusion – the tendency to over-expect small runs, streaks or clusters in large samples of random data
  • Confirmation bias – the tendency to search for or interpret information or memories in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions.[14]
  • Congruence bias – the tendency to test hypotheses exclusively through direct testing, instead of testing possible alternative hypotheses.
  • Conjunction fallacy – the tendency to assume that specific conditions are more probable than general ones.[15]
  • Conservatism or regressive bias – tendency to underestimate high values and high likelihoods/probabilities/frequencies and overestimate low ones. Based on the observed evidence, estimates are not extreme enough
  • Conservatism (Bayesian) – the tendency to revise belief insufficiently when presented with new evidence (estimates of conditional probabilities are conservative)[16][19][20]
  • Contrast effect – the enhancement or diminishing of a weight or other measurement when compared with a recently observed contrasting object.[21]
  • Curse of knowledge – when knowledge of a topic diminishes one’s ability to think about it from a less-informed perspective.
  • Decoy effect – preferences change when there is a third option that is asymmetrically dominated
  • Denomination effect – the tendency to spend more money when it is denominated in small amounts (e.g. coins) rather than large amounts (e.g. bills).[22]
  • Distinction bias – the tendency to view two options as more dissimilar when evaluating them simultaneously than when evaluating them separately.[23]
  • Duration neglect – the neglect of the duration of an episode in determining its value

Read E-Z List and Links.

Phi Beta Iota:  The role of Red Cells is well understood, but to the best of our knowledge, there are no analytic bias monitors or omsbudsmen.  This is a specialty position demanding deep and persistent study and engagement — at least one per analytic division, perhaps even treat this as a branch of the Office of the Inspector General.

See Also:

2012 Robert Steele: Reflections on Inspectors General