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9 Biases that lead us to make wrong perceptions of people and things

We imagine things and people we’re familiar with or fond of as better

Similar to the above but the filled-in bits generally also include built in assumptions about the quality and value of the thing we’re looking at.

Out-Group Homogeneity Bias (Effect)

The perception that out-group members are more similar to one another than are in-group members, i.e. “they are alike; we are diverse”.

Cross-Race Effect

Also known as Cross-Race Bias, Other-Race Bias, Own-Race Bias.

The tendency to more easily recognize faces of the race that one is most familiar with (which is most often one’s own race).

In-Group Bias

Also known as In-Group Favoritism, In-Group-Out-Group Bias, Intergroup Bias.

A pattern of favoring members of one’s in-group over out-group members.

Halo Effect (Horns and Halo effect)

This refers to an observer’s overall impression of a person, company, brand, or product influencing the observer’s feelings and thoughts about that entity’s character or properties. The halo effect is a specific type of confirmation bias, wherein positive feelings in one area cause ambiguous or neutral traits to be viewed positively. The effect works in both positive and negative directions. If the observer likes one aspect of something, they will have a positive predisposition toward everything about it. If the observer dislikes one aspect of something, they will have a negative predisposition toward everything about it. Read More.

Cheerleader Effect

The cognitive bias which causes people to think individuals are more attractive when they are in a group. This effect occurs with male-only, female-only and mixed gender groups; and both small and large groups. The effect occurs to the same extent with groups of four and 16 people. Participants in studies looked more at the attractive people than the unattractive people in the group. The effect does not occur because group photos give the impression that individuals have more social or emotional intelligence. This was shown to be the case by a study which used individual photos grouped together in a single image, rather than photos taken of people in a group. The study generated the same effect.

Positivity Effect

The positivity effect pertains to the tendency of people, when evaluating the causes of the behaviors of a person they like or prefer, to attribute the person’s inherent disposition as the cause of their positive behaviors and the situations surrounding them as the cause of their negative behaviors. The positivity effect is the inverse of the negativity effect, which is found when people evaluate the causes of the behaviors of a person they dislike. Both effects are attributional biases.

Related. Ultimate Attribution Error, Fundamental Attribution Error, Actor-Observer Bias

Not Invented Here Syndrome

An unwillingness to adopt an idea or product because it originates from another culture; a form of tribalism. Read more.

Reactive Devaluation

A cognitive bias that occurs when a proposal is devalued if it appears to originate from an antagonist.

Well-Travelled Road Effect

A cognitive bias in which travelers will estimate the time taken to traverse routes differently depending on their familiarity with the route. Frequently travelled routes are assessed as taking a shorter time than unfamiliar routes. The effect is most salient when subjects are driving, but is still detectable for pedestrians and users of public transport.

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