Description of Three Cognitive Biases

Table of Contents

Cognitive bias is a continuous pattern of deviation from what is rational. There are many types of cognitive bias. The paper would discuss the confirmation bias, representativeness heuristic, and hindsight bias.

Confirmation bias

It is a way or method of searching for and or interpreting information to confirm one’s prejudices. It typically leads to mistakes. It arises from feeling that some thoughts can help to correct the available information. It is the information one has formed in his or her mind to confirm a hypothesis that is not necessarily factual. It is a form of selection bias in collecting evidence.

The other name for confirmation bias is confirmatory bias or myside bias. It is essential for confirming one’s beliefs or hypothesis. It does not allow alternative views. When people put together information selectively, it results in confirmation bias.

It also can lead to attitude polarization. Sometimes a person may become overconfident towards personal beliefs. It may happen even when the evidence portrays a different version of the conviction. It hinders the ability to evaluate logically any ideas that do not conform to the views of the person.

Representativeness Heuristic

It is essential for analyzing and arriving at decisions about a probability of an event under uncertainty. Heuristics are rules that determine and help to arrive at decisions and judgments quickly. Heuristics are some of the best guidelines because they contribute to reaching a decision fast and timely.

There is no much use of effort because there are already guidelines. They can also provide misleading information. Just because something is representative, it does not mean that it is right. It also allows people to compare the similarities in things, ideas and people with other known biases.

In the medical field, people believed that disease symptoms were similar to their causes or treatments. For instance, doctors and nurses thought that stress led to stomach ulcers. However, the truth came out that there were bacteria that caused ulcers. It is no longer the condition of stress as earlier thought.

Other beliefs are that people are fat because they eat fatty foods. In reality, some of the people are fat because of their genes. Others have different reasons. Representativeness heuristic can even compel the most qualified people to believe a theory. It is because many people think it is true. Sometimes it becomes entrenched in the culture of people such that it is tough to disbelieve it.

Hindsight Bias

It is forming an indication that the already available outcome is the thought that one had before it happened. Its other name is the knew-it-all-along effect. It can provide distorted information during the recollection process. It may also result in false theoretical outcomes

The historians, the physician, and court cases are examples where people use hindsight bias. The historians try to describe battles that happened a long time ago. The clinicians give an account of what they think would be the result of certain ailments.

In the court, the lawyers, the defendants, the bench, and the prosecutors try to establish the theoretical view of how an event or crime happened. As a result of attempting to reconstruct an event, it leads to overestimation or information that is not factually reliable.


It is imperative for people to understand what causes them to make decisions. The bias nature of beliefs and outcomes normally shape the destiny of an incident. Sometimes it may not be true. Confirmation bias may be misleading as much as the other two theories. And yet they can also become the principal instruments of solving social problems.

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