Bias Time (4 of 9)


[Open inside]

Yes, it’s bias time again. The fourth of the series of biases that you, yes you, have. Even if you are aware of these, and even if you consciously try to correct for them to be, heh, ‘objective’, as in what e.g. auditors pursue, you will fail.

Memory errors

  • Consistency bias – incorrectly remembering one’s past attitudes and behavior as resembling present attitudes and behavior.
  • Cryptomnesia – a form of misattribution where a memory is mistaken for imagination.
  • Egocentric bias – recalling the past in a self-serving manner, e.g. remembering one’s exam grades as being better than they were, or remembering a caught fish as being bigger than it was.
  • False memory – confusion of imagination with memory, or the confusion of true memories with false memories.
  • Hindsight bias – filtering memory of past events through present knowledge, so that those events look more predictable than they actually were; also known as the “I-knew-it-all-along effect.”
  • Reminiscence bump – the effect that people tend to recall more personal events from adolescence and early adulthood than from other lifetime periods.
  • Rosy retrospection – the tendency to rate past events more positively than they had actually rated them when the event occurred.
  • Self-serving bias – perceiving oneself responsible for desirable outcomes but not responsible for undesirable ones.
  • Suggestibility – a form of misattribution where ideas suggested by a questioner are mistaken for memory.

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