Cognition Essay, Research Paper

10) What are some other key biases that influence judgement?

Judgement seems to be influenced by a variety of things each have their own implication on judgement. Overconfidence serves as a bias on judgement. Fischhoff, Slovic, and Lichtenstein, in 1997, tested this idea. The participants were given the question “Absinthe is a: A) liquer or B) a precious stone.” The subjects were to choose the correct answer, and state the probability of being correct. It was found that when the subjects were 100 percent confident in their answers, they were only correct 80 percent of the time. This provides evidence that there is in fact, a dissociation between knowledge and awareness. Another bias that influences judgement is the hindsight bias. This is commonly referred to as the Monday morning quarterback, saying “He should have?.” This bias works on the premises that hindsight is 20/20. We can see the hindsight bias in many psychology experiments where the subjects are asked to predict the outcomes of an event, doing so with chance accuracy. After being told the outcomes, the subjects say that the predictions would be easy because the outcomes are obvious. What they are failing to do is to carefully compare the outcomes with reasoning, which may propagate inaccuracy. The confirmation bias is another bias which influences judgement. This bias happens in a variety of forms. First, when subjects are assessing a belief, they are more likely to seek evidence that confirms the belief than evidence that does not support it. Second, when disconfirming evidence is made available to them, subjects often fail to use it, in adjusting their beliefs. Third, subjects will forget non-supporting evidence, and show memory bias toward cases similar to their beliefs. Finally, subjects regularly fail to consider alternative hypotheses, which might explain the available data as well as the current beliefs. Logic can influence judgement to a certain degree. Logic is concerned with whether a particular conclusion is brought about by a particular set of premises. So, when the subjects show the belief-bias patterns, they are not distinguishing between good and bad arguments. Instead, they are willing to support a bad argument that leads to a conclusion which they believe is true, and they are willing to reject a good argument, if it leads to conclusions already believed false. Nevertheless, these biases can influence judgement, but they can be combated if recognized in our cognitive capabilities.

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