Cognitive biases, also known as ‘heuristics’, are cognitive short cuts used to aid our decision-making.
The study of cognition is dominated by a ‘dual process model’. System 1 describes automatic thinking – rapid, intuitive judgements. System 2 describes analytical decision-making – slower, reasoned judgement is taken through rationalisation and deliberation.
As humans we all have biases in our cognitive processing which will influence decision-making, many of which overlap. We tend to search for, favour and recall information that confirms our point of view. This is an internal bias.
Availability bias is when we have the tendency to judge an event as more likely if it most readily comes to mind.
Anchoring bias explains when we prematurely settle on a diagnosis or opinion based on a few features of the initial information or presentation. We fail to adjust our opinion as new information is presented to us.
Confirmation bias is when having formed an opinion about a situation, we favor evidence and seek evidence that supports our opinion and overlook or discount contradicting evidence. As humans we are also more prone to confirmation bias if we are a novice as compared to an expert. An expert are more likely to modify their diagnostic assumptions earlier than a novice.