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Cognitive bias

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A cognitive bias is a pattern of thought, due to deviation of the judgment. The term bias refers to systematic deviation from reality. The study of cognitive biases is the subject of numerous studies in cognitive psychology, social psychology, and more generally in cognitive science.

These works have identified many cognitive biases specific to the human mind across multiple areas: perception, statistics, logic, causality, social relations, etc. From the perspective of their domains it can be distinguished among other: errors of perception, evaluation, logical interpretation. These cognitive biases are generally unaware. Their characterization is important in both the legal and scientific fields. Advertising often uses cognitive biases to get his messages (fallacy, forgetting of base frequency).

Some of these biases may actually be effective in a natural environment such as those that hosted human evolution, to enable an assessment or a more efficient action, while they are unsuited to a modern artificial environment.

Psychological and social aspects

Note, beyond the cognitive, related to the intellect, unconscious or conscious interference of emotional (emotional bias) or instinctive factors. In fact, some cognitive biases result from emotional biases that disrupt the cognitive process. Any decision involving, for taking an image, the head, the heart and/or guts, is naturally exposed to certain biases. It is therefore useful to recognize the affects acting monitoring these three “bodies” before deciding.

The individual is not isolated in its decisions, social psychology (phenomena of group and crowd) also sheds light. Cognitive bias, as appropriate, due exclusively to the individual, or related to the social pressure on this individual. Some techniques of persuasion, propaganda and mind control seek to exploit it through.

Research in economics and finance

The various types of cognitive bias (anchoring, representativeness, framing …) have been particularly highlighted by behavioral finance as a source of various abnormalities affecting economic behavior and market efficiency.

This is due to the work of the psychologist Daniel Kahneman that won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002.

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