List of Biases in Judgment and Decision Making - Common Theoretical Causes of Some Cognitive Biases

Common Theoretical Causes of Some Cognitive Biases

  • Bounded rationality – limits on optimization and rationality
    • Prospect theory
    • Mental accounting
    • Adaptive bias – basing decisions on limited information and biasing them based on the costs of being wrong.
  • Attribute substitution – making a complex, difficult judgment by unconsciously substituting it by an easier judgment
  • Attribution theory
    • Salience
    • Naïve realism
  • Cognitive dissonance, and related:
    • Impression management
    • Self-perception theory
  • Heuristics, including:
    • Availability heuristic – estimating what is more likely by what is more available in memory, which is biased toward vivid, unusual, or emotionally charged examples
    • Representativeness heuristic – judging probabilities on the basis of resemblance
    • Affect heuristic – basing a decision on an emotional reaction rather than a calculation of risks and benefits
  • Some theories of emotion such as:
    • Two-factor theory of emotion
    • Somatic markers hypothesis
  • Introspection illusion
  • Misinterpretations or misuse of statistics; innumeracy.

A 2012 Psychological Bulletin article suggested that at least eight seemingly unrelated biases can be produced by the same information-theoretic generative mechanism that assumes noisy information processing during storage and retrieval of information in human memory.

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