You Know What Your Problem Is?

Well, do you? If not, here’s a list to choose from:

1. Confirmation bias. Everything you see only confirms what you already believe to be true–whether or not it really is. Jenny recently decided that her family was perfect because a new study confirmed that families with two girls are happiest–and she has two girls!

2. Optimism bias. You view and interpret facts in a self-serving way. Like believing you do more than 50% of the housework, while your spouse believes same about herself.

3. Hindsight bias. Also known as the I-knew-it-all-along effect. Things that happened in the past were so predictable. You KNEW you shouldn’t have hung up on your mother-in-law, but now it’s too late and she’s not speaking to you.

4. Correspondence bias. The tendency to make trait inferences about someone based on their behavior. Your wife steals the sheets. She must not care if you’re cold.

5. Actor-Observer bias: Similar to above. You believe others do things because of their personality, but you do things because of the situation, i.e. your husband didn’t pick up the milk because he only thinks of himself, but you didn’t pick up the milk because you’re busy doing a million things.

6. Self-serving bias. You choose the explanation that makes you look best. If your kid gets a bad grade on his English test, it’s because the teacher is bad. If he gets an A, it’s because he’s a genius (thanks to your good genes).

7. Ingroup bias. Other couples suck compared to you guys.

photo courtesy of Karlina on flickr.

Posted in confirmation bias

2 Responses to You Know What Your Problem Is?

  1. Mark says:

    I love this blog post.

  2. Others I can think of: Uncertainty aversion, endowment effect, anchoring.

    You should also check out http://youarenotsosmart.com and http://lesswrong.com

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