Recognising cognitive biases can help you decipher information correctly and make—hopefully—better and more informed decisions.
Cognitive biases can lead to flawed thinking and the making of poor decisions. An example of these types of biases is as follows:
- Suppose that:
- 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.