Cognitive, Anchoring and Negative Biases

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Cognitive Bias is when we process and interpret information, so we can make our own decision and or judgement. Sometimes we make decisions based on our memories or how we feel and sometimes even the simplest decisions can be difficult to make because of how we feel or think, making our decisions being irrational over being logical. There are many different types of cognitive biases, some of which we do not all experience at the same time.

Anchoring bias is when we rely too much on one piece or information when we make our decisions. In an experiment explained by Dr. Laurie Santos, Associates Professor of Psychology, Yale University, she shows us that we can be given the same mathematical problem reversed but we will think that the total outcome would be different. For instance, the mathematical problem she used was “8x7x6x5x4x3x2x1=” and said that the people would roughly assume that it is around 2250. The other mathematical problem she used was “1x2x3x4x5x6x7x8=” and for this one the people guessed a lower number than 2250. The answers to both the problems was 40,320. Dr. Laurie Santos explains that the reason why people give different answers to the same question is because of how we make estimate. when we have time to answer a problem like that, we will be able to multiply every number together to get an exact answer. But when we do not have time to answer we come up with our own estimates leaving us with an improper outcome.

Negative bias is when we give more attention to negative things as opposed to the positive things. Thinking negatively about things can cloud our decisions. There can be a job opening that you know you are qualified for but because you think negatively about how the interview may go of how you may say the wrong things and screw up your interview, you decide its best not to go because you’ve already made your assumption that you will not get this job. You are losing an opportunity because you could not think that maybe you can have a great interview and be the best candidate for the job and in the end receiving that position.

Anchoring can be also used with emotions, after all we are still estimating using our emotions. We are sometimes anchored with our emotions and it can lead us to do decide on things differently. sometimes I am anchored to deciding on things that I should be achieving in my life. For example, I’ve just started school although I should have started a couple of years ago. I have let my emotions guide my judgment. Not knowing how my future would be like handling many things at once would work. Afraid to fail academically while trying to handle work and worrying about how failing would affect my working abilities. I had let myself estimate the possibility of juggling many things at once by anchoring me feelings on the matter of being a student while working, having to depend only on myself because I don’t live with family, and having a social life. Felling emotionally negative about my future and how will things work out lead me to go a few years without starting school until now. If everyone in our society anchors their emotions on decision making and estimating things would be different. If most people weighed decisions negatively on anything in their life it would be hard to achieve what we want or excel in life and our career. Maybe some companies might not have any sales or bargains thus making them seem too expensive because the anchoring bias will not work properly. If I go to a store and find a pair of shoes that i really like I will think about the price and if they do not have a sale going on I may think that it’s too expensive because I can just go somewhere else and find the same pair of shoes but for less than what the other store was selling them for. That’s where they would lose out on money, not just from myself but from others as well, the company would not prosper.

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Cognitive, Anchoring And Negative Biases. (2021, Jul 26). Retrieved December 4, 2023 , from

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