Biases - how do you overcome them?

The list of biases that sound very familiar to many of us:

  • Representative bias leads to a snap judgment on a question based on its apparent similarity to an earlier matter.
  • Cognitive dissonance leads to an avoidance of uncomfortable facts that contradict one’s convictions.
  • Home country bias and familiarity bias lead to an avoidance of anything outside one’s comfort zone.
  • Mood bias, optimism (or pessimism) bias and overconfidence bias all add a note of irrationality and emotion to the decision-making process.
  • The endowment effect causes people to over-value the things they own just because they own them.
  • Status quo bias is resistance to change.
  • Reference point bias and anchoring bias are tendencies to value a thing in comparison to another thing rather than independently.
  • The law of small numbers is the reliance on a too-small sample size to make a decision.
  • Attachment bias is a blurring of judgment when one’s own interests or a related person’s interests are involved.
  • Media bias and Internet information bias represent uncritical acceptance of widely-reported opinions and assumptions.

It’s not that easy to overcome them, I think the only thing to do is to constantly review all the possible data (positive, negative, or lack of it), make a decision, and move on.