Cognitive Biases and their Influence on Rational Thinking

Why are people so irrational nowadays? It seems like everywhere you turn, there’s someone making a decision that just doesn’t make any sense. From buying unnecessary items to believing in conspiracy theories, irrationality is running rampant. But what is causing this epidemic of illogical thinking? The answer lies in cognitive biases and their influence on rational thinking.

Cognitive biases are the quirks of our brain that lead us to make irrational decisions. They are like little gremlins that hijack our thought processes and lead us astray. And boy, do they have a field day in today’s world! With the constant bombardment of information and the rise of social media, our brains are working overtime to process everything. And in the process, they often take shortcuts that lead to irrational thinking. One of the most common cognitive biases is confirmation bias. This is the tendency to seek out information that confirms our existing beliefs and ignore anything that contradicts them.

In other words, we only see what we want to see. And with the echo chambers of social media, it’s easier than ever to surround ourselves with like-minded individuals who reinforce our biases. So, it’s no wonder that people are becoming more and more irrational in their thinking. Another cognitive bias that is running rampant is the availability heuristic. This is the tendency to rely on immediate examples that come to mind when making a decision. For example, if we hear about a plane crash on the news, we might become irrationally afraid of flying, even though statistically, it’s one of the safest modes of transportation.

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Our brains are wired to prioritize recent and vivid information, which can lead us to make irrational choices based on fear rather than logic. Then there’s the bandwagon effect, which is the tendency to do or believe something just because everyone else is doing it. We humans are social creatures, and we have a deep-seated need to fit in and be accepted by our peers. So, when we see others jumping on a particular bandwagon, we’re more likely to follow suit, even if it goes against our better judgment. This can lead to irrational decisions and actions that we may later regret.

Perhaps the most amusing cognitive bias of all is the illusion of control. This is the belief that we have more control over events and outcomes than we actually do. We like to think that we’re in the driver’s seat of our lives, but in reality, there are countless factors beyond our control. Yet, we continue to make irrational decisions based on this illusion, thinking that we can somehow manipulate the universe to bend to our will.

So, why are people so irrational nowadays? It’s a combination of cognitive biases and the fast-paced, information-saturated world we live in. Our brains are constantly bombarded with stimuli, and in an effort to make sense of it all, they take shortcuts that lead to irrational thinking. But hey, at least we can find some humor in our irrationality. After all, laughter is the best medicine for a brain full of cognitive biases!


By Terion

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