Researchers estimate that humans make an average of 35,000 decisions every day, and a good chunk of them are affected by cognitive biases. According to one study, 20 percent of healthcare providers’ diagnostic mistakes are caused by cognitive biases. And that’s after years of training. With a universe of competing interests vying for first place in our lives, we often feel pressured to act quickly. The problem is there is often a chasm between the information we have and the information we need to make good decisions. Thus, we take mental shortcuts.
Cognitive biases are systematic judgment errors. They are born of flawed reasoning, and that flawed reasoning can cause you to misinterpret information and draw false or inaccurate conclusions. Not surprisingly, we all have them. Our penchant for self-delusion is pretty consistent.