Cognitive Biases - A Visual Guide (Explains a great deal in a small amount of time.)

It may take a couple of tries to get it to present properly and don't forget to zoom in so you can read it (there's a toolbar at the bottom with zoom magnifiers) I picked 'scrolling' to read it - but there are a number of choices.

This is an eye opener. I read it first to feel vindicated by the number of my boss's biases I have already identified that drive me nuts. But then I went back to try and root out my own. This will actually help me deal with him more effectively - actually, with a lot of people. It will also help me approach observation, decision-making and assessment more effectively myself as I can watch out for these pitfalls of perception.

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It is likely that we cannot completely eliminate our biases and probably would be worse off if we did. Most of these biases are information processing heuristics that served our ancestors well, and work well for us most of the time.

It could be that eliminating all self-severing biases would leave one thoroughly depressed and unable to function. High functioning individuals tend to be deluded, at least in the sense of having a positive self-bias. If you accept the premise that we cannot perceive reality to complete accuracy, then the task might be to learn which delusions are beneficial and which are harmful. You might refute the existence of gods, but be willing to live with a slightly inaccurate perception of your own intelligence :-)
Aye! Aye! Our biases help us to formulate our distinctive personality traits. Life would be awfully dull if we were all seemingly clones of Mr. Spock. :P

I linked the link very much, though.
True - they help. But imagine if you were aware of your biases and acted to minimize they're distortion of your perception, I guarantee you would remain a very unique individual - probably more so. And, I also think that if you understood what illusory biases someone you work with or are committed to (say a spouse) you might find some more slack to hand them as well as be able to more effectively draw their attention to a more functional way of looking at some things that would not only overcome certain repetitive and unproductive conflict, but result in a deeper and more effective collaboration.
Speak for yourself! ;^)

I totally agree.
I liked this book. It did, however, take me some time to get into it because, at first, it seemed that it was impossible to overcome ever, which I do not believe to be true. Then he came in with some examples to give me hope. In the end the book was great and helpful and also one I would highly recommend to anyone who can open themselves up enough to self criticism to enjoy it. (after the initial pain)
Is it irony that those who are deepest in 'cognitive dissonance' are least likely to accept it?
I think that's one of the biases/mistakes: Dunning Kruger

Overestimating one's desirable qualities, and underestimating undesirable
qualities, relative to other people. Also known as Superiority bias
(also known as "Lake Wobegon effect", "better-than-average effect",
"superiority bias", or Dunning-Kruger effect)
Is it irony that those who are deepest in 'cognitive dissonance' are least likely to accept it?

I don't understand that use of the term 'cognitive dissonance.' Cognitive dissonance is the discomfort or 'psychic pain' that people experience when they hold beliefs or values that are logically inconsistent. I don't know what you mean by 'deepest in.' Do you mean they have the most conflicting beliefs? One does not accept cognitive dissonance, one experiences it. A person with inconsistent beliefs can use denial to reduce dissonance. Maybe that is what you mean. Thus a young earth xtian can believe that humans lived with dinosaurs without a constant headache. They just have to deny science. They have no cognitive dissonance, but their denial shows their ignorance. To lose the denial mechanism would result in severe cognitive dissonance. That explains why they are so resistant to logic and evidence that contradicts their beliefs.
Interesting, I always understood the term to be independent of denial - such that a person would, for instance, never believe in fairies or even other people's god's because of the null hypothesis while easily believing in their own. Often, it's not quite denial even - just a total lack of thinking something through. It does suggest discomfort - and the method of retreat from it would be some kind of denial or defensiveness. But that discomfort could and is often masked on the surface - such that someone who would go to a faith healer to watch others get 'healed' would take their kid to the ER if they were in immediate peril.
Thank you Howard for helping make my slip up sound more clear and sensible. That is more or less where I was going and it was meant to be a direct reference to the book mentioned by The Nerd Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me).
It is independent of denial. Denial is one mechanism to reduce dissonance, there are others. Denial would work by removing one of the inconsistent beliefs, thus masking the conflict. The important point is that an external observer does not determine what is inconsistent in another's beliefs. You would need access to their entire belief system to do that. It is yet another bias that we see ourselves as consistent and other people as being inconsistent. As a result labeling them with the term "cognitive dissonance." Because we do not have access to the structure of the beliefs of others, the only way to reliably know cognitive dissonance exists is to see evidence of anxiety or discomfort.

OTOH, I now understand what Michelle was saying. By "least likely to accept it" she meant benefit from reading the book "Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me)." Totally agree. A person is motivated to avoid examining their beliefs in proportion to the extent there are substantial inconsistencies in those beliefs. It follows from the need to avoid anxiety and discomfort.
Interesting. I hadn't looked at it that way. It's like watching that character (usually in a coming of age film) who is pursuing the pretty bitch with no chance of success and, even if he gets it, no chance of it lasting. Meanwhile, the whole time, there is the less overtly attractive but authentic girl who is there all the time and clearly adores him. It's easy to be a fly on the wall and see the 'big picture' and yell at the screen - you idiot - she's right there. Don't you see her.

Nevertheless, there are times, like in my example of the choice of science over faith when its your kid that's sick, that empirically demonstrates the dissonance on some level - even if it is masked. In fact, most of these biases are like that - we apply them to others even while never considering them for ourselves.
Yes, it is fascinating to watch religious people pick and chose what parts of science are true. Usually depends on what they need.




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