24 Cognitive Biases You Need To Stop Making [Infographic]

24 Cognitive Biases You Need To Stop Making [Infographic]
Image: iStock

Cognitive bias occurs when we make subjective assumptions about people or situations based on our own perception of reality. This can lead to irrational decisions and judgement calls that affect those around us. They can alter the way you see everything without you even realising it.

Identifying the problem is the first step towards rational thinking. Here are 24 distinct biases that you need to be aware of – from “declinism” (believing the past was better than the present) to “fundamental attribution error” (judging others on their character but yourself on the situation).

The “Know Thyself” infographic was put together by the talented Jesse Richardson. It breaks down 24 world view-altering biases with brief explanations. There are also a few tips on how to avoid falling into these logic traps yourself.

If you require a constant reminder on how to think rationally, you can download the above graphic in poster form here.

24 Cognitive Biases You Need To Stop Making [Infographic]

[Via “Know Thyself” infographic ]


  • The description of the Dunning-Kruger effect is wrong. While the Dunning-Kruger paper showed that people who performed worse overestimated their ability and those who performed better underestimated their ability, those with a lower ability estimated their ability to be lower than those with a higher ability.

    For example, consider two people who took a test; one got a 60, the other got a 90. The first might estimate their score as a 70 and the other an 80. Their self-evaluations are still correct relative to each other, it’s just compressed from the actual difference in their abilities.

  • Though this article clearly contains some useful information to ponder and question for oneself, it is ironically also FULL of bias itself. The most blatant example is the commentary under the “Barnum Effect” Why is this info graphic promoting such prejudice against astrologers and psychics? With a more truly objective perspective, one can easily see that to speak of these things in the manner stated in the article is a personal specific bias in and of itself. Furthermore, people such as advertisers and anyone expressing themselves to be some sort “expert” or authority on a subject “uses” the barnum effect far more than astrologers or psychics and has far more influence on the general public so why pick on astrologer and psychics specifically? Astrology and “psychic” phenomenon are vast subjects, “used” in myriad ways; most of which do NOT correspond to the statement purported in the article. To state such a blanket prejudicial (and negative) remark about anyone utilizing these subjects is irresponsible, negatively influential to your readers and damaging to the very thing the article implies that it is promoting: independent and objective thought. I wonder how much the writer actually knows about astrology or psychic phenomenon or ability. It seems the author is merely expressing the prejudiced ideas about such things that he/she has been taught to believe by other biased people who also know little or nothing about such subjects. It is unwise to blindly believe in something one doesn’t understand or knows little about. However; only a biased and unthinking mind would actively disregard/disbelieve in something they don’t really understand/know little about as well. An intelligent and objective mind is just that; objective and neutral (despite societal bias) until they gain enough knowledge and genuine personal experience to form a more clear personal perspective.

  • With the exception of the author’s lumping together all acupuncture and other alternative medicines as unworthy, I thoroughly enjoyed this article (for example, see https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/acupuncture-is-worth-a-try-for-chronic-pain-201304016042). Of all these, sunk cost hits home for me the most. It is a huge issue for people in toxic friendships or relationships, and it was the rationale I used to stay in a friendship that had soured beyond repair.

    Thank you for this poster! I downloaded a copy. It reminded me of some of the best information I took from Social Psychology, nicely collected for easy reference.

  • Like the logical fallacies that have found new life on social media (read: fad), this is a list of common human behaviors categorized and labeled. People use them to “win” an argument by pointing them out in others. At least, in their own mind. Interesting but ultimately meaningless.

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