We are drawn to certain details

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 (Confirmatory Bias, Myside Bias)

The tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one’s preexisting beliefs or hypotheses. Read More.

Example of Confirmation Bias

A person with a low self-esteem is highly sensitive to being ignored by other people, and they constantly monitor for signs that people might not like them. So, even if there are ninety-nine signs of people liking them and one sign of people not, they will catch and focus on that one sign over the rest.

Congruence Bias

A type of cognitive bias similar to confirmation bias. Congruence bias occurs due to people’s over-reliance on directly testing a given hypothesis as well as neglecting indirect testing.

Example of Congruence Bias

In an experiment, a subject will test his own usually naive hypothesis again and again instead of tying to disprove it.

Continued Influence Effect (Subset of Conservatism)

The tendency to believe previously learned misinformation even after it has been corrected. Misinformation can still influence inferences one generates after a correction has occurred.

Experimenter’s Bias

When experimenter expectancies regarding study results bias the research outcome.

Observer-Expectancy Effect

Also known as Experimenter-Expectancy Effect, Expectation Bias, Observer Effect, Experimenter Effect

A form of reactivity in which a researcher’s cognitive bias causes them to subconsciously influence the participants of an experiment.

Ostrich Effect

Avoiding exposing oneself to information that one fears may cause psychological discomfort.

Related. Normalcy Bias, Selective Perception

Post-Purchase Rationalization (Choice-Supportive Bias)

The tendency to retroactively ascribe positive attributes to an option one has selected. In cognitive science, one predictable way that memories of choice options are distorted is that positive aspects tend to be remembered as part of the chosen option, whether or not they originally were part of that option, and negative aspects tend to be remembered as part of rejected options.

Selective Perception

The tendency not to notice and more quickly forget stimuli that cause emotional discomfort and contradict our prior beliefs.

Related. Ostrich Effect, Normalcy Bias

Semmelweis Reflex

The reflex-like tendency to reject new evidence or new knowledge because it contradicts established norms, beliefs or paradigms.

Subjective Validation (Personal Validation Effect)

A cognitive bias by which a person will consider a statement or another piece of information to be correct if it has any personal meaning or significance to them. In other words, a person whose opinion is affected by subjective validation will perceive two unrelated events (i.e., a coincidence) to be related because their personal belief demands that they be related. Eg. Belief in a cold reading.

Related. Forer Effect

See Also: