Bias

. Confirmation bias, ie confirming evidence, is linked with associated memory. For example, people prefer to seek data, information, etc that is compatible with their beliefs rather than those that will challenge them.

. Halo bias, ie the tendency to like, or dislike, everything about one a person or thing (this includes what has not necessarily been observed). This bias may result from a reaction to a person's voice or appearance. It is heavily reliant on first impressions and this can be determined by chance. The sequence matters as the first impression dominates the subsequent impressions. The gaps in your knowledge about the personal situation are filled in by guesses that fit one's emotional response to the personal situation. At the same time, as you become more familiar with the person or situation, evidence accumulates and attaches to your first impression. So sometimes a halo effect suppresses ambiguity and exacerbates the initial mis-impression.

WYSIATI

. WYSIATI (What You See All There Is) - how the mind uses information that is currently available and unavailable. An essential design feature of associative machine is that it represents only activated ideas. Thus information that is not retrieved, even unconsciously, from the memory might as well not exist. Routine focus of the brain excels at constructing the best possible story that incorporates only ideas currently activated, irrespective of their accuracy and incomplete information. Routine focus of the brain

"...Is radically sensitive to both quality and quantity of information and gives rise to impressions..."

Daniel Kahneman 2012

. Research has shown (Daniel Kahneman 2012) that when people are given only one side of evidence, they are more confident in their judgments than those who understand both sides, ie they are convinced by the coherence of the story that they managed to construct from available information, ie

"...It is the consistency of the information that matters for a good story, not its completeness...... You will often find that knowing little makes it easier to fit everything you know into a coherent pattern..."

Daniel Kahneman 2012

"...WYSIATI facilitates the achievement of coherence and of cognitive ease that causes you to accept a statement as true. It explains why we can think fast and how we are able to make sense of partial information in a complex world. Much of the time, the coherent story put together is close enough to reality to support reason or action......to help explain a long and diverse list of biases of judgement and choice..."

Daniel Kahneman 2012

. Some of these WYSATI habits include

- overconfidence (neither the quantity nor the quality of the evidence counts much in subjective confidence; the quality of the story is actually more important than the facts; consequently, critical evidence, doubts and ambiguity are often ignored)

- framing (different ways of presenting the same information often evoke different emotions, eg survival rate versus mortality rate from surgery. Survival rate puts a positive spin; while mortality puts a negative spin)

- base-rate neglect (stereo-typing, such as making personality generalisations, eg all doctors have the same personality, etc)

 

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