Elon Musk Says All Kids Should Know These 50 Cognitive Biases

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  • Elon Musk listing the 50 cognitive biases he thinks all children should be aware of.
  • The biases are described in an infographic first published by TitleMax.
  • The list is designed to help you make better decisions.

Cognitive biases are shortcuts your mind uses when you need to make a decision quickly. They can cause you to act against your best interests or against the most logical option.

In the past, they helped humans survive. These days, however, they can be a burden in everyday life, affecting your decision-making.

It is therefore important that people understand what they are and how to recognize them. It can help people avoid falling into it.

Elon Musk shared this view on Twittergarnering over 64,000 retweets and 315,000 likes.

They “should be taught to everyone from an early age,” he wrote, attaching an image of an infographic that lists the “50 cognitive biases you need to know so you can be the best version of yourself. “.

The infographic is taken from TitleMax, which published it about two years ago.

“Knowing this list of biases can help you make more informed decisions and realize when you’re off the mark,” TitleMax explained.

1. Fundamental error of attribution: We judge others on their personality or their fundamental character, but we judge ourselves on the situation.

2. Selfish bias: Our failures are situational, but our successes are our responsibility.

3. In-group favouritism: We favor people who are in our in-group over those who are in an out-group.

4. Bandwagon Effect: Ideas, fads and beliefs grow as more and more people adopt them.

5. Groupthink: Due to a desire for conformity and harmony in the group, we make irrational decisions, often to minimize conflict.

6. Halo Effect: If you see a person as having a positive trait, that positive impression will carry over to their other traits. (This also works for negative traits).

7. Moral Luck: A better moral standing occurs due to a positive outcome; the worst moral situation occurs due to a negative result.

8. False Consensus: We think more people agree with us than they actually do.

9. Curse of Knowledge: Once we know something, we assume everyone else knows it too.

10. Spotlight Effect: We overestimate how much attention people pay to our behavior and appearance.

11. Heuristic Availability: We rely on immediate examples that come to mind when making judgments.

12. Defensive Attribution: As a witness who secretly fears that we are vulnerable to a serious accident, we will blame the victim less and the perpetrator more if we relate to the victim.

13. Fair world hypothesis: We tend to believe that the world is fair; therefore, we assume that acts of injustice are deserved.

14. Naive Realism: We believe that we observe objective reality and that others are irrational, misinformed, or biased.

15. Naïve Cynicism: We believe that we observe objective reality and that others have a higher self-centered bias than they actually do in their intentions/actions.

16. Forer Effect (aka Barnum Effect): We easily attribute our personalities to vague statements, even though they may apply to a wide range of people.

17. Dunning-Kruger Effect: The less you know, the more confident you are. The more you know, the less confident you are.

18. Anchoring: We rely heavily on the first information introduced when making decisions.

19. Automation Bias: We rely on automated systems, sometimes placing too much faith in automated correction of actually correct decisions.

20. Google Effect (aka Digital Amnesia): We tend to overlook information that is easily searched for in search engines.

21. Reactance: We do the opposite of what we are told, especially when we perceive threats to individual freedoms.

22. Confirmation Bias: We tend to find and retain information that confirms our perceptions.

23. Backfire effect: Disproving evidence sometimes has the unwarranted effect of confirming our beliefs.

24. Third Person Effect: We believe that others are more affected by mass media consumption than ourselves.

25. Belief bias: We judge the strength of an argument not by how strongly it supports the conclusion, but by how plausible the conclusion is in our own mind.

26. Cascade of availability: Tied to our need for social acceptance, collective beliefs gain plausibility through public repetition.

27. Decline: We tend to idealize the past and see the future negatively, believing that societies/institutions in general are in decline.

28. Status quo bias: we tend to prefer things to stay the same; changes from the baseline are considered a loss.

29. Sunk Cost Fallacy (aka Escalation of Commitment): We invest more in things that have cost us something rather than changing our investments, even when faced with negative outcomes.

30. Player Error: We believe future possibilities are affected by past events.

31. Zero Risk Bias: We prefer to reduce small risks to zero, although we can further reduce the overall risk with another option.

32. Framing effect: We often draw different conclusions from the same piece of information depending on how it is presented.

33. Stereotype: We hold generalized beliefs that members of a group will have certain characteristics, even if they have no information about the individual.

34. Outgroup homogeneity bias: We perceive outgroup members as homogeneous and our own ingroups as more diverse.

35. Authority bias: We trust and are more often influenced by the opinions of authority figures.

36. Placebo Effect*: If we believe a treatment will work, it will often have a small physiological effect.

37. Survival Bias: We tend to focus on things that survived a process and neglect those that failed.

38. Tachypsychia: our perceptions of time lag as a function of trauma, drug use, and physical exertion.

39. Law of Triviality (aka “Bike-Shedding”): We place disproportionate weight on trivial issues, often while avoiding more complex ones.

40. Zeigarnik Effect: We remember incomplete tasks more than completed tasks.

41. IKEA Effect: We place greater value on things that we have partially created ourselves.

42. Ben Franklin Effect: We like to do favors; we are more likely to do another favor for someone if we have already done them a favor than if we had received a favor from that person.

43. Bystander Effect: The more other people around, the less likely we are to help a victim. (although technically not a cognitive bias, it is another important form of bias, according to TitleMax).

44. Suggestibility: We, especially children, sometimes confuse ideas suggested by an interlocutor with memories.

45. False memory: We confuse imagination with real memories.

46. ​​Cryptomnesia: We confuse real memories with imagination.

47. Illusion of clustering: We find patterns and “clusters” in random data.

48. Pessimism bias: We sometimes overestimate the likelihood of poor outcomes.

49. Optimism bias: Sometimes we are too optimistic about good results.

50. Blind Spot Bias: We don’t think we have bias, and we see it in others more than ourselves.

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