Understanding Cognitive Biases By Alexander B. Swan, The Great Courses
- Narrated by: Alexander B. Swan
- Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
- Release date: 01-06-23
Understanding Cognitive Biases By Alexander B. Swan, The Great Courses AudioBook Summary
As you read this sentence, your brain has just processed about 20 million bits of information. In fact, every second of every day, your brain processes about 11 million bits. And yet, that astonishing number just isn’t enough to get you through your day. Consequently, your brain takes some shortcuts—and it’s those shortcuts, called heuristics, that make it all work. Some shortcuts are completely benign and helpful—such as your ability to recognize your child even if half his face is in shadow or your ability to imagine tomorrow even though you will never actually see it.
The shortcuts of cognitive biases, however—when the brain fills in gaps of solid, reliable information with a lot of guesswork for efficiency’s sake—can lead to errors of memory and judgment and cause faulty decision-making with unintended, even dire, consequences. For example, take confirmation bias. This tendency to consider only information that confirms our existing beliefs can cause us to make incorrect assumptions about the cause of a coworker’s behavior, misinterpret experimental data, or even make disastrous engineering decisions resulting in loss of life.