We jokingly call them stinkin’ thinkin’, but they probably keep us alive.
Cognitive biases are subconscious mental shortcuts that we take. They allow us to deal with three facts of life:
- There is too much information in our environment for us to take it all in and consider it, so we filter a lot out
- The heavily filtered information that we keep doesn’t give us enough meaning, so we fill in the gaps with assumptions and stories
- There isn’t enough time to think carefully about everything we do, so we find quicker ways to get stuff done
The nearly 200 biases that have been cataloged in Wikipedia were organized into 13 strategies, also semi-conscious or subconscious, by a bright man named Buster Benson between 2016 and 2019. He seems to have moved on to other projects since then.
This video is an overview of that handy organization with one example from each of the three problems (Benson calls them “Conundrums”).
If you want to explore on your own, try https://busterbenson.com/biases/