This Infographic Lists Some Of The Most Common Cognitive Biases That You Should Know About

An infographic from TitleMax shows some of the most commonly found cognitive biases across the general human psyche, three of which we’ll discuss in greater detail.

So, while this online journal does tend to dabble a bit in details outside of the tech world, there’s always something tying it back to our niche, which again, is tech. The TitleMax infographic, while very elaborate, detailed, and very worth appreciating each part of, is simple far too long to be reasonably covered, and often veers off into areas not even close to this e-mag’s typical topics of conversation. Therefore, we’re going to be discussing three specific biases brought up by the data provided: automation bias, reflecting an increasing reliance on AI-based recommendations; the Google effect, leading to us forgetting information that can be easily looked up online; and the IKEA effect, which is a representation of the psyche attaching greater worth to objects we make ourselves. These are topics that can at least be considered inspired by technology, and are therefore free game! Now that I’ve found myself the necessary loophole for writing this article, let’s get down to business.

Before we kick off into full gear, what even is TitleMax and what makes it such an expert on one’s cognition? Well, it’s a loan-granting firm that also has a lifestyle blog built into its system, which I guess is one way of making sure that literally all of your online bases are fully covered and monetized. Tonal whiplash aside, TitleMax’s Carly Hallman is responsible for collecting data on 50 separate cognitive biases, providing information on them in simple, chewable paragraphs so as to allow readers to learn from them and, more importantly, learn to call their presence out in themselves. Cognitive bias is not inherently a bad thing, since some biases are formed over millennia worth of experience that builds up an inherent form of memory. Group thinking, for example, is a form of bias that has individuals make irrational decisions for the overarching purpose of maintaining peace. This obvious predisposition to avoid conflict is something that’s literally been ingrained into our DNA over centuries’ worth of evolution.

Ultimately, however, an inherent bias should be under one’s control, and not the other way around. While one can learn from their bias, and even effectively utilize it to make decisions, the ultimate rationale behind any choice must stem from relatively detached thinking. Can I prove to be of any assistance to our lovely readers in this regard? Absolutely not, I’m not a psychologist, I’m just trying to make it one day at a time. What I can do, however, is explore our three chosen topics in further detail in order to help readers understand them, and therefore learn to control them better. Now, let’s put our thinking hats on and start with automation bias.

Our entire landscape, both virtual and physical, has had so much AI integrated into it that life without the technology would just end up being a hassle. The most prominent examples of day-to-day AI can be found in the likes of recommendation algorithms, which not only provide content based on what a user likes, but changes it up as a user’s taste changes as well. While we all like complaining about how YouTube sometimes recommends irrelevant content, the number of times it delivers on solid videos for users to watch is honestly a marvel. Automation bias is an innate, subconscious comfort with leaving all recommendation-based decision making to be left in the hands of AI. The easiest, and perhaps only, way to exert control over one’s automation bias is to have them make decisions that are daring, or contradict what the recommendations provide. Watch a new series on Netflix that wasn’t recommended, learn to ignore or flag irrelevant content across Instagram and the like. Life may be too short to keep mulling over content, but the exertion of free will is important.

Let’s move on to the next topic on our list, the Google effect. This is probably something that most readers, especially students, are familiar with. We tend to treat information that can easily be searched up with a little less importance in comparison to other relevant facts and figures. It should be noted that we aren’t necessarily becoming less intelligent or are developing weaker memories; we just tend to not associate Google-able data with any form of importance, deciding to look into it later (or never). I guess the best way to deal with this form of digital amnesia is to simply be more conscious and alert when receiving any form of input from a different source.

Finally, there’s the IKEA effect, which is something that we’ve had for quite a long time. It’s why DIY projects are super popular across YouTube now, and why pottery was so big in the 90’s and whatnot. We tend to love every product of our own making, and therefore associate this with more worth. It’s a concept that IKEA really took advantage of, providing customers with both the relevant high-end building blocks to their favorite chair and whatnot, offset by a build-it-yourself experience that really helps customers attach themselves to whatever it is that they’re making. So, there’s no pressing need to work around the IKEA effect, but it is very important to note what a client is selling and determine whether or not the product being sold has been divided into multiple parts owing to a lack of quality instead of providing a building experience.

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