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Ambiguity effect
the tendency to avoid options for which missing information makes the probability seem "unknown."
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 tru
Backfire effect
when people react to disconfirming evidence by strengthening their beliefs.
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.
Belief bias
an effect where someone's evaluation of the logical strength of an argument is biased by the believability of the conclusion.
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.
Choice-supportive bias
the tendency to remember one's choices as better than they actually were.
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.
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.
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)
Contrast effect
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).
Distinction bias
the tendency to view two options as more dissimilar when evaluating them simultaneously than when evaluating them separately.
Duration neglect
the neglect of the duration of an episode in determining its value
Empathy gap
the tendency to underestimate the influence or strength of feelings, in either oneself or others.
Endowment effect
the fact that people often demand much more to give up an object than they would be willing to pay to acquire it.
categorizing people and things according to their essential nature, in spite of variations.
Exaggerated expectation
based on the estimates, real-world evidence turns out to be less extreme than our expectations (conditionally inverse of the conservatism bias).
Experimenter's or expectation bias
False-consensus effect
the tendency of a person to overestimate how much other people agree with him or her.
Functional fixedness
limits a person to using an object only in the way it is traditionally used
Focusing effect
the tendency to place too much importance on one aspect of an event; causes error in accurately predicting the utility of a future outcome.
Forer effect or Barnum effect
the observation that individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general enough to a
Framing effect
drawing different conclusions from the same information, depending on how or by whom that information is presented.
Frequency illusion
Gambler's fallacy
the tendency to think that future probabilities are altered by past events, when in reality they are unchanged. Results from an erroneous conceptualization of the law of large numbers. For example, "
Hard-easy effect
Based on a specific level of task difficulty, the confidence in judgments is too conservative and not extreme enough
Hindsight bias
sometimes called the "I-knew-it-all-along" effect, the tendency to see past events as being predictable
Hostile media effect
the tendency to see a media report as being biased, owing to one's own strong partisan views.
Hot-hand fallacy -
The "hot-hand fallacy" (also known as the "hot hand phenomenon" or "hot hand") is the fallacious belief that a person who has experienced success has a greater chance of further success in additional
Hyperbolic discounting
the tendency for people to have a stronger preference for more immediate payoffs relative to later payoffs, where the tendency increases the closer to the present both payoffs are.
Illusion of control
the tendency to overestimate one's degree of influence over other external events.
Illusion of validity
when consistent but predictively weak data leads to confident predictions
Illusory correlation
inaccurately perceiving a relationship between two unrelated events.
Impact bias
the tendency to overestimate the length or the intensity of the impact of future feeling states.
Information bias
the tendency to seek information even when it cannot affect action.
Insensitivity to sample size
the tendency to under-expect variation in small samples
Irrational escalation
the phenomenon where people justify increased investment in a decision, based on the cumulative prior investment, despite new evidence suggesting that the decision was probably wrong.
Just-world hypothesis
the tendency for people to want to believe that the world is fundamentally just, causing them to rationalize an otherwise inexplicable injustice as deserved by the victim(s).
Less-is-better effect
a preference reversal where a dominated smaller set is preferred to a larger set
Loss aversion
"the disutility of giving up an object is greater than the utility associated with acquiring it".
Ludic fallacy
the misuse of games to model real-life situations.
Mere exposure effect
the tendency to express undue liking for things merely because of familiarity with them.
Money illusion
the tendency to concentrate on the nominal (face value) of money rather than its value in terms of purchasing power.
Moral credential effect
the tendency of a track record of non-prejudice to increase subsequent prejudice.
Negativity bias
Neglect of probability
the tendency to completely disregard probability when making a decision under uncertainty.
Nonsense math effect
the tendency to judge information containing equations higher regardless the quality of them.
Normalcy bias
the refusal to plan for, or react to, a disaster which has never happened before.
Observer-expectancy effect
when a researcher expects a given result and therefore unconsciously manipulates an experiment or misinterprets data in order to find it (see also subject-expectancy effect).
Omission bias
the tendency to judge harmful actions as worse, or less moral, than equally harmful omissions (inactions).
Optimism bias
the tendency to be over-optimistic, overestimating favorable and pleasing outcomes (see also wishful thinking, valence effect, positive outcome bias).
Ostrich effect
ignoring an obvious (negative) situation.
Outcome bias
the tendency to judge a decision by its eventual outcome instead of based on the quality of the decision at the time it was made.
Overconfidence effect
excessive confidence in one's own answers to questions. For example, for certain types of questions, answers that people rate as "99% certain" turn out to be wrong 40% of the time.
a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) is perceived as significant, e.g., seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon, and hearing non-existent hidden messages on
Pessimism bias
the tendency for some people, especially those suffering from depression, to overestimate the likelihood of negative things happening to them.
Planning fallacy
the tendency to underestimate task-completion times.
Post-purchase rationalization
the tendency to persuade oneself through rational argument that a purchase was a good value.
Pro-innovation bias
the tendency to reflect a personal bias towards an invention/innovation, while often failing to identify limitations and weaknesses or address the possibility of failure.
Pseudocertainty effect
the tendency to make risk-averse choices if the expected outcome is positive, but make risk-seeking choices to avoid negative outcomes.
the urge to do the opposite of what someone wants you to do out of a need to resist a perceived attempt to constrain your freedom of choice (see also Reverse psychology).
Reactive devaluation
devaluing proposals that are no longer hypothetical or purportedly originated with an adversary.
Recency bias
a cognitive bias that results from disproportionate salience attributed to recent stimuli or observations
Recency illusion
the illusion that a phenomenon, typically a word or language usage, that one has just begun to notice is a recent innovation (see also frequency illusion).
Restraint bias
the tendency to overestimate one's ability to show restraint in the face of temptation.
Rhyme as reason effect
rhyming statements are perceived as more truthful. A famous example being used in the O.J Simpson trial with the defenses use of the phrase "If the gloves don't fit then you must acquit."
Risk compensation / Peltzman effect
the tendency to take greater risks when perceived safety increases.
Selective perception
the tendency for expectations to affect perception.
Semmelweis reflex
the tendency to reject new evidence that contradicts a paradigm.
Selection bias
the distortion of a statistical analysis, resulting from the method of collecting samples. If the selection bias is not taken into account then certain conclusions drawn may be wrong.
Social comparison bias
the tendency, when making hiring decisions, to favour potential candidates who don't compete with one's own particular strengths.
Social desirability bias
the tendency to over-report socially desirable characteristics or behaviours and under-report socially undesirable characteristics or behaviours.
Status quo bias
the tendency to like things to stay relatively the same (see also loss aversion, endowment effect, and system justification).
expecting a member of a group to have certain characteristics without having actual information about that individual.
Subadditivity effect
the tendency to estimate that the likelihood of an event is less than the sum of its (more than two) mutually exclusive components.
Subjective validation
perception that something is true if a subject's belief demands it to be true. Also assigns perceived connections between coincidences.
Survivorship bias
concentrating on the people or things that "survived" some process and inadvertently overlooking those that didn't because of their lack of visibility.
Texas sharpshooter fallacy
pieces of information that have no relationship to one another are called out for their similarities, and that similarity is used for claiming the existence of a pattern.
Time-saving bias
underestimations of the time that could be saved (or lost) when increasing (or decreasing) from a relatively low speed and overestimations of the time that could be saved (or lost) when increasing (o
Unit bias
the tendency to want to finish a given unit of a task or an item. Strong effects on the consumption of food in particular.
Well travelled road effect
underestimation of the duration taken to traverse oft-traveled routes and overestimation of the duration taken to traverse less familiar routes.
Zero-risk bias
preference for reducing a small risk to zero over a greater reduction in a larger risk.
Zero-sum heuristic
Intuitively judging a situation to be zero-sum (i.e., that gains and losses are correlated). Derives from the zero-sum game in game theory, where wins and losses sum to zero.