In the digital age, cognitive biases are running wild

Here are three strange ways of how the human mind works:

  • If a person with a certain strong belief is presented with clear evidence of the belief being false, this may lead to a reinforcement of the belief.
  • A person might draw different conclusions from the same type of information depending on in what way the information is being presented.
  • A person who has just been told about a phenomenon which he/she never noticed before, starts paying attention to it and now sees it/hears about it everywhere.

These examples of cognitive biases show how easily our perception and thinking is being tricked and led astray. More than a 100 cognitive biases have been identified so far. The Wikipedia list collecting them all is both a fascinating and sobering read.

Considering how flawed our thinking and perception tends to be, it’s hard not to be amazed by humanity’s achievements and how far civilization has come. As cognitive biases affect every single individual no matter their standing, academic credentials, authority or projected confidence, and produces the constant risk of wrong decision-making and subsequent conflicts, the advances and fairly peaceful state in not all, but a large number of societies is against all odds. Continue Reading