Availability Bias - Explained
What is Availability Bias?
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Table of ContentsWhat is Availability Bias?What are Cognitive Biases?Academic Resources for Availability Bias
What is Availability Bias?
Availability bias is the tendency of humans to believe things that readily come to mind are more important than those not readily recalled.
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What are Cognitive Biases?
The bias means that the brain is filtering the excess information since it is not able to process all the stimuli reaching it.
There are three ways of making decisions and drawing conclusions:
- Doing so with total certainty when one has all the relevant information.
- Doing so when one does not has any information
- Doing so with some level of risk where one has only part of the required information.
Cognitive biases involve making decisions without the relevant information, and this leads individuals to draw hasty conclusions that lead to mistakes.
Mental biases are formed to fill gaps in the memories of individuals when the brain lacks data. Some of the biases that are usually developed by individuals include.
- Halo Effect. This is a bias that arises when an opinion is formed from just a single characteristic of a person. When one sees a character trait they deem attractive; they assume the other aspects are also attractive. Advertising agencies use this bias to promote products that are sponsored by a famous person.
- Availability bias. This is assessing the probability of an event occurring based on previous situations that have happened. The decision is influenced by the impact of an incident that occurred. For example, when a pilot is suspected to have caused an airplane accident, people start questioning the safety of air transportation even though it is the most reliable.
- An illusion of control. This is an illusion that occurs when people think that their actions have triggered an effect when in reality the result is only a coincidence. This makes people overestimate their ability to controlling events that are out of their hands.