Decision-making plays an important part in our lives. We make decisions every minute, every day, even every second. From getting up to going back to sleep, it is our decision-making ability that steers us in the right (or wrong) direction. Research suggests that there are a number of cognitive stumbling blocks that affect your behavior, and they can prevent you from acting in your own best interests. Here are some biases that’ll prove what a big deal this is: 1. Anchoring bias It is all about the first piece of information people hear and are excessively dependent on it. For example if you first see a t-shirt worth Rs 1,200 then see a second one that costs Rs 500, you’re prone to see the second shirt as cheap without looking at the price of it. 2. Availability heuristic We tend to overestimate the importance of the information we already have. For example, after seeing several news reports about car thefts, you might make a judgment that vehicle theft is much more common than it really is in your area. 3. Bandwagon effect Here, people do something primarily because other people are doing it regardless of their own beliefs, which they may ignore or override. Now you know why group meeting with 20 heads is unproductive? 4. Blind spot bias This is where you fail to recognise your own cognitive bias which is a bias in itself. People tend to notice cognitive and motivational biases much more in others than in themselves. Also read: What You Should Know About Unconscious Bias And The Role It Plays In Dictating Your Actions 5. Choice-supportive bias Once you have made the choice, you start to feel more positive about it even if the choice has flaws. Like how when you start a new job somewhere you’ll like it even if has odd working hours. 6. Clustering illusion It is the tendency to erroneously consider the inevitable “streaks” or “clusters” arising in small samples from random distributions to be non-random. For example: if you were to flip a coin and have 10 heads turn up in a row, you might think the coin is biased. Also read: Google’s AI Is Branding Jews & Homosexuals As Bad People, Thanks To Toxic Human Biases 7. Confirmation bias It is a type of cognitive bias that involves favouring information that confirms your previously existing beliefs or biases. Now it’s not hard to see why an extended or intelligent conversation about climate change can be a difficult process. 8. Conservatism bias This is where people favour prior evidence over new evidence or information that one has emerged. People took some time to believe that the earth is round because they believed that it was flat for a very long time. 9. Information bias The tendency to seek information when it does not affect action. People sometimes can make more accurate predictions with limited information. More information is not always required. 10. Ostrich effect It is when a person intentionally ignores the negative or dangerous information like ‘burying your head in the sand,’ as an ostrich does. Researchers say that investors check the markets less when the market is down. 11. Outcome bias This means judging a decision based on the outcome rather than how and why the decision was made. Winning at gambling doesn’t mean putting your money there was the smartest decision. 12. Overconfidence Having too much confidence in our own abilities put us at a greater risk and makes us more vulnerable. So are you sure you are right always? 13. Placebo effect Believing that something will affect you causes it to have that effect on you. In medicine, people often given fake pills experience the same psychological effects as people given the real thing.