Cognitive Biases: Why We Make Irrational Decisions

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Explore some classic biases in everyday thinking—and how to avoid them.

Over the decades psychologists have discovered all kinds of biases in how we think.

Some tell us why the incompetent don’t know they’re incompetent, others why it’s difficult to estimate our future emotions and some why we feel more transparent to others than we really appear.

Many of these biases result from our minds using little short-cuts to help us navigate through a complicated world. Unfortunately the result can be that we reach irrational decisions.

Understanding how these biases operate may help you make better decisions in all sorts of situations, both at home and work. More than that, though, it will help you understand your own mind.

Image credit: David Goehring

About the author


Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick". You can follow PsyBlog by email, by RSS feed, on Twitter and Google+.

Published: 13 February 2013

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Images: Creative Commons License