Research Methods - Cognitive Biases

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Cognitive Biases are a very common part of our everyday lives. It can be broken down into a couple different categories. The first one i want to point out is the "Hindsight Bias". The Hindsight Bias brings out a couple of really interesting points. First, it points out that we tend to overestimate how well we could have successfully forecasted known outcomes. I thought it was really interesting how they tied this back into the 9/11 terrorist attacks and how everyone was very quick to point fingers at people who "knew" how to avoid it, but did not. Another aspect the cognitive bias is overconfidence. The book showed a study on how a survey revealed that 94% of college professors believed that they were better scholars than their colleagues. This goes to show that the majority of people believe that they are "above average" when, by definition, only 50% of people can technically be above average. Biases can make us sure that we are right when in-fact we are not. This leads us to not only draw false conclusions, but even become convinced of them. The scientific method accounts for these naturally misleading factors and allows us to draw better conclusions.

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