Cognitive Bias

When you are in the middle of a mental model, moving and shifting the vision of the completed project or outcome, you are causing all of the pieces to fit together perfectly. In the optimal situation, the only information flowing through your head would be the facts given and the processes necessary to come to a conclusion. However, we have human brains, and they don’t just store facts and processes like a computer would; this is where cognitive bias plays an instrumental and often damaging role in our choices and the flow inside of our mental models. 

A cognitive bias is essentially an error in the way that we think that affects our decision making skills as well as our judgment. One of the first ways that it is affected is through our own personal bias. Memories that are stored in our brain of a similar event that may have created a bias will lead to that altered bias thinking and decision making. These biases could throw an entire process off, leading to a choice that is not in the optimal range for the mental model. 

Another cognitive bias that we struggle with is our attention span. In a world filled with distractions, technology, and a constantly evolving movement, it is easy to lose that attention when processing through your mental model. These distractions can also create biases that are subconscious. For example, if you are creating a grocery list, going through the financial steps, the listing, and the decision process, and you hear a commercial for a specific brand of cereal that may affect your choice. You may remember eating cereal as a child, the memory floating back through your head.

That memory could invoke an emotion that will ultimately sway your decision making based on emotion rather than fact. Think about how many different thoughts flow through your mind at any given moment. While just sitting around reading this book, your mind will pick up on cues from the words, spiralling outward. You may have just thought about your favourite cereal, having to do your grocery shopping, or even circumstances that you have related to your own life. All of these things come into your mind like noise, distracting you from the facts and the choices that you are presenting yourself within your mental models.


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