You’re probably wrong about almost everything, humans believe that they are logical, open minded and understanding, yet science has proved this to be wrong time and time again, this is due to our preprogrammed cognitive biases that we don’t know we have and have to work against.
Cognitive, meaning the process of thinking, bias, of course meaning preferring a choice or idea unfairly without giving an equal chance to the opposing choice or idea. Here are the cognitive biases nearly all of us go through like the confirmation bias, this means you tend to listen to and favour information that supports your already existing beliefs and preconceptions, everything else is ignored and dismissed, this is why it’s usually hard to have intelligent debates. Let’s say you believe in God and I show you evidence against your belief, even if it outweighs everything you’ve said you’ll reject it. This works with nearly everything, our views on our favourite natural remedies, musicians, actors, a politician we support and so on,
In some cases, we can open our eyes, in most our eyes stay closed, this is why Donald trump can say and almost do anything and still receive backing from his supporters, this works on both sides of the spectrum. Going back just a few years you’d see people support the use of activated charcoal in their water, toothpaste and skin care regimes, pink Himalayan salt, herbs and natural remedies having magical life changing abilities and outrageous conspiracy theories, some being true to some extent but isn’t the case overall. The next cognitive bias being the placebo effect, if you truly believe the medicine you take will work, even if it has no scientific evidence of doing so, it can, but this only works on the more psychological things like pain and certain symptoms associated with it but it doesn’t actually cure diseases, viruses and broken bones.
The next being the negative and positive bias, in which you can be irrationally positive or negative, believing most things are great or most things are bad.
The next being the dunning Kruger effect, this is when incompetent people think they’re amazing because they don’t know any better, true experts know there’s a lot they don’t know and underestimate what they can do, because of this incompetent people usually rise to executive roles in companies and major roles in politics faster, taking on more than they can chew and doing a terrible job, the experts usually question themselves too much and don’t do.
The next being the just-world hypothesis. This is when you think the world is Mostly just and karma has it’s place, the truth is good people can suffer, and bad people may never see their karma.
This list can go on for a long time but I’ll finish it with the last one, the blind spot bias, failing to acknowledge your cognitive biases is a bias itself, you’ll see these biases in others but disregard it in yourself. What do these biases mean for us and how can we work with them? Well these biases were designed as shortcuts to not allow us to overthink and waste energy on tasks but knowing and being conscious of them in ourselves and other people gives us a truer understanding of the world and people around us and this is why you‘ve probably been wrong about almost everything.