You are Biased


#16: The Frequency Illusion

25

Apr 2017

#16: The Frequency Illusion

The Frequency Illusion, also known as the Baader-Meinhoff phenomenon, is a cognitive bias which describes our tendency to see new information, names, ideas or patterns ‘everywhere’ soon after they’re first brought to our attention. It took the Baader-Meinhoff name after this curious psychological fact was first described by a reader of the St Paul Pioneer Press. Having just heard about the ultra-leftwing Baader-Meinhoff terrorist group in Western Germany, he saw Baader-Meinhoff everywhere. The Frequency Illusion is caused by two cognitive processes: selective attention and confirmation bias. Our brain has an incredible talent for pattern recognition. It’s one of the features...

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You are Biased

01

Feb 2017

You are Biased

A living library of the cognitive biases and heuristics that structure our thinking and decision making. Most of us (like to) think of ourselves as being pretty reasonable, rational, in control and objective – able to understand and evaluate complex ideas and situations, and thereby act in the best way possible for ourselves and others. And we are, occasionally. A lot of the time, though, the way that we think, the things we perceive and the decisions we make are riddled with irrationality, errors and – you guessed it – bias. Our brains are incredible, incredibly powerful and complex organs that we’re...

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