Over the years I have heard and referred to many of the 25 cognitive biases. Yet I had never sat down and actually read through each and every one to understand what they are and how they can impact on our day to day lives. Charles Holm put together a short book which reviews each of the 25 the cognitive biases, provides a definition and provides examples of how they relate in the workplace, at home or in the various relationships we have.
What I found beneficial is that I was able to better understand the common cognitive biases such as the anchoring effect, halo effect, self-serving bias than I previously did. Moreover I was able to take some of the other biases and think about how they impact me on a daily basis.
I would recommend this book as it is a very quick read and provides a nice introduction into this topic where more books/information would delve deeper.
Three key takeaways from the book:
1. The “Bias Blind Spot” cognitive bias is really a culmination of many of the biases. Essentially we create blind spots in our thinking and communication based off biases.
2. The “Hyperbolic Discounting” cognitive bias is used massively in marketing using the temporal proximity effect. Essentially taking a smaller reward sooner versus waiting for the larger reward.
3. The “Curse of Knowledge” cognitive bias. I have been using the term academic creep for quite some time to describe how our knowledge on a topic increases over time. In turn this leads us to believe others trying to learn this knowledge become increasing dumber. It helps that we put ourselves in their perspective and realise that we had to start somewhere as well.