The cognitive bias codex links to a definition of each cognitive bias

Originally published at: The cognitive bias codex links to a definition of each cognitive bias | Boing Boing

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This is a great diagram of what other people—not me—do when they try to think. A great resource to figure out why people who disagree with me are so wrong in their thinking.


What if it’s biased?


It clearly depicts the “complex diagram” effect, where people are more impressed if there are lines leading to multititudes of options.

It also exhibits the “brain in center” effect, where if you put a brain in the center of your diagram people are more likely to think it’s “smart”


At least the brain lotus is in traditionally calming colours even if it is barely legible.


Oh shit, I’m hella high right now, can no comprenda!


How do you know this isn’t merely confirming your prior beliefs about confirmation bias?


If only so many people didn’t perform a category error when they considered their own biases, the world would be a much better place. Not me, of course.

Actually, totally me. My bad y’all.


This diagram is so pleasing to me because of the links under each bias. Great way to put a bunch of info together.


It is–these many biases are mostly branding from decision and social researchers trying to get noticed, and nobody has figured out how often which ones happen in natural settings. The cognitive biases research was initiated by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman. After 20 years of research, they identified maybe 3 by the end of the 1980s (representativeness, anchoring & adjustment, and the availability heuristic, maybe there was one more but I can’t remember it). I heard a story 20 years ago from one of Tversky’s students that they said they looked and couldn’t find any that weren’t versions of those three, and they sort of were satisfied that they had got them all. But all that had to happen was Tversky died and Kahneman won the Nobel, and everyone realized they wanted to come up with a bias of their own to become famous themselves (and Tversky wasn’t around to call their bluff, which he probably would have). I disagree a bit–I think social attribution errors are another class of these heuristics, and they may have discounted them as social rather than cognitive. But the impression these infographics give is that we operate with a box of broken tools and are lucky we have survived.

Furthermore, the approach is what I call the “original sin” of cognitive science. That is, we are broken by default, and people can’t be trusted to make their own decisions. The problem is much of the evidence for these biases and heuristics comes from contrived situations that show people do use them, but fail to demonstrate that using them leads to bad outcomes. When they get rolled up into infographics like this, they tend to add basically all logical fallacies, which I tend to think are a completely different thing altogether, and specious things like ‘blindsight bias’ and ‘bias bias’, which seems self-justification if you ask me.


I know exactly what you are intending to say.


This one is nice also

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pbs newshour IS my cognitive bias !!


My cognitive bias is Fox “News”. If it’s on Fox Noise it MUST be bullshit!

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Jake Gyllenhaal Reaction GIF

I looked at that diagram and had to agree with the label. Too Much Information.

Now that would be an interesting infographic.

I think that worldview is a consequence of a very limited perspective on decisions: a decision is not atomic, for each complex problem there is a continuous stream of decisions that happen while one’s understanding of the world evolves as the world responds to our decisions. Each subsequent decision has the strong potential to be less wrong. You can’t speed up the evolution of understanding by pointing out the people’s fallacies, that’s IMHO the best way to build resistance. A more helpful way is teaching people to measure the outcome of their decisions, so that they can learn more easily. That also works well in groups, explicitly reviewing and evolving decisions opens the space for dialog and experimentation.

I wish more people made that distinction. Understanding logical fallacies is helpful for discussing the validity of a claim, independently of the person who made that claim.
Understanding cognitive biases can’t help us with specific decisions at all, they can only help us understand the limits of our own understanding of the world.

lol. A fool with a tool is still a fool. But probably more dangerous, and more effective in wasting one’s time.

When cognitive biases were all the rage a couple of years ago, they were thrown around quite a bit in meetings, sometimes that was quite a challenge as a facilitator. I wonder if now is the time that a new generation catches on.

Edit: fixed formatting of quotes

Are you sure?

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