There is just too much information in the world, we have no choice but to filter almost all of it out. Our brain uses a few simple tricks to pick out the bits of information that are most likely going to be useful in some way.
We notice things already primed in memory or repeated often
This is the simple rule that our brains are more likely to notice things that are related to stuff that’s recently been loaded in memory.
|Attentional Bias||Availability Heuristic|
|Base Rate Fallacy||Context Effect|
|Cue-Dependent Forgetting||Empathy Gap|
|Frequency Illusion||Illusory Truth Effect|
|Mere Exposure Effect||Mood-Con|
Bizarre, funny, visually-striking, or anthropomorphic things stick out more than non-bizarre/unfunny things
Our brains tend to boost the importance of things that are unusual or surprising. Alternatively, we tend to skip over information that we think is ordinary or expected.
|Bizarreness Effect||Self-Relevance Effect|
|Picture Superiority Effect||Negativity Bias|
|Humour Effect||Von Restorff Effect|
We are drawn to details that confirm our own existing beliefs
This is a big one. As is the corollary: we tend to ignore details that contradicts our own beliefs.
|Confirmation Bias||Congruence Bias|
|Continued Influence Effect||Experimenter’s Bias|
|Observer-Expectancy Effect||Ostrich Effect|
|Post-Purchase Rationalization||Selective Perception|
|Semmelweis Reflex||Subjective Validation|
We notice flaws in others more easily than we notice flaws in ourselves
Yes, before you see this entire article as a list of quirks that compromise how other people think, realize that you are also subject to these biases.
|Bias Blind Spot||Naïve Realism|
We notice when something has changed
And we’ll generally tend to weigh the significance of the new value by the direction the change happened (positive or negative) more than re-evaluating the new value as if it had been presented alone. Also applies to when we compare two similar things.
|Contrast Effect||Distinction Bias|
|Focusing Effect||Framing Effect|