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Updated by Hung Lee on Jan 12, 2015
Hung Lee Hung Lee
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Glitches In Your Matrix - 101 Common Fallacies

Confirmation bias

Confirmation biases are effects in information processing, distinct from the behavioral confirmation effect, also called " self-fulfilling prophecy", in which people's expectations affect their behaviour to make the expectations come true. Some psychologists use "confirmation bias" to refer to any way in which people avoid rejecting a belief, whether in searching for evidence, interpreting it, or recalling it from memory.

Gambler's fallacy

The gambler's fallacy, also known as the Monte Carlo fallacy or the fallacy of the maturity of chances, is the mistaken belief that if something happens more frequently than normal during some period, then it will happen less frequently in the future (presumably as a means of balancing nature).

In-group favoritism

In-group favoritism, sometimes known as in-group-out-group bias, in-group bias, or intergroup bias, refers to a pattern of favoring members of one's in-group over out-group members. This can be expressed in evaluation of others, allocation of resources and many other ways. This interaction has been researched by many psychologists and linked to many theories related to group conflict and prejudice.

Choice-supportive bias

In cognitive science, choice-supportive bias is the tendency to retroactively ascribe positive attributes to an option one has selected. It is a cognitive bias. For example, if a person buys a computer from Apple instead of a computer (PC) running Windows, he is likely to ignore or downplay the faults of Apple computers while amplifying those of Windows computers.

Selection bias

Selection bias is a statistical bias in which there is an error in choosing the individuals or groups to take part in a scientific study. It is sometimes referred to as the selection effect. The phrase "selection bias" most often refers to the distortion of a statistical analysis, resulting from the method of collecting samples.

Status quo bias

Status quo bias is a cognitive bias; a preference for the current state of affairs. The current baseline (or status quo) is taken as a reference point, and any change from that baseline is perceived as a loss.

Negativity bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the brain, there are two different systems for negative and positive stimuli. The left hemisphere, which is known for articulate language, is somewhat specialized for positive experiences; whereas, the right hemisphere focuses more on negative experiences. Another area of the brain used for the negativity bias is the amygdala.

Bandwagon effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The bandwagon effect is a well documented form of groupthink in behavioral science and has many applications.[which? ] The general rule is that conduct or beliefs spread among people, as fads and trends clearly do, with "the probability of any individual adopting it increasing with the proportion who have already done so".

Project bias

Psychological projection was conceptualized by Sigmund Freud in the 1890s as a defense mechanism in which a person unconsciously rejects his or her own unacceptable attributes by ascribing them to objects or persons in the outside world. For example, a person who is rude may accuse other people of being rude.


Anchoring or focalism is a cognitive bias that describes the common human tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the "anchor") when making decisions. During decision making, anchoring occurs when individuals use an initial piece of information to make subsequent judgments.

Attentional bias

Attentional bias is the tendency for a particular class of stimuli to capture attention. Attentional bias can also refer to the tendency of our perception to be affected by our recurring thoughts. Several types of cognitive bias occur due to an attentional bias.


In cognitive psychology and decision science, or conservatism bias is a bias in human information processing. This bias describes human belief revision in which persons over-weigh the prior distribution ( base rate) and under-weigh new sample evidence when compared to Bayesian belief-revision.

Experimenter's bias

Experimenter's bias is the name given for the term wherein scientists unconsciously affect subjects in experiments. Clever Hans (in German, der Kluge Hans) was an Orlov Trotter horse that was claimed to have been able to perform arithmetic and other intellectual tasks.

Fundamental attribution error

In social psychology, the fundamental attribution error (also known as correspondence bias or attribution effect) is the tendency to overestimate the effect of disposition or personality and underestimate the effect of the situation in explaining social behavior. The fundamental attribution error is most visible when people explain the behavior of others.

False Equivalence

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