Recognising cognitive biases can help you decipher information correctly and make—hopefully—better and more informed decisions.
An example of these types of biases are as follows:
Ten people were at a party.
Eight were vaccinated
Two people caught Covid-19.
One of them was vaccinated.
The base rate fallacy may have you thinking that one out of two ill people were vaccinated (50%).
If you consider the base rate:
One out of eight vaccinated people fell ill (12.5 %).
One out of two unvaccinated people fell ill (50%).
You are four times more likely to become ill at this party if you’d been unvaccinated.
One type of cognitive bias is the likelihood of becoming ill from Covid-19 after vaccination. But, as vaccination rates increase, there will be more vaccinated and less unvaccinated people; therefore, the number of vaccinated people who fall sick will grow.
Being aware of these biases can help us avoid them.