Not getting what you want? Pick a Cognitive Bias to blame.

Not getting what you want?

Do you get frustrated, not getting what you want in life?  You didn't get the new job, the scales don't show the weight loss or your relationship isn't going in the right direction. Trying to find some sort of comfort and explanation can be difficult so hopefully, this will help.

From birth, our brains wire themselves with shortcuts to process information based on our experiences.  Those shortcuts help us get through life more efficiently and help us learn along the way.  And they turn into Cognitive biases, which ultimately make up who we are, our perceptions, and our expectations.

What are Cognitive Biases?

In psychological terms, as Wikipediaia explains, a cognitive bias:

"refers to the systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion. Individuals create their own "subjective social reality" from their perception of the input."

For example, you and a friend are discussing how to cook a cake.  You brain recalls quickly that a celebrity chef said to make sure the oven was on first.  That information came to your mind straight away and helped you in the discussion.  This is called the "availability heuristic".  During the discussion, the brain immediately recalled previously learned examples which helped to evaluate a particular subject, topic or discussion.  Your brain was being efficient, calling on available information it had previously captured.  However, this heuristic and other biases, although efficient, can, in this case, help you or they can be hindering if that situation was perceived differently.

Make Cognitive Biases Work For You

There are 188 Cognitive biases.  If you find yourself not getting what you want or getting frustrated, take a minute and see which psychological bias or effect is affecting your thoughts.

There's something comforting in knowing that there is a bias for everything.  We are all human.  No one is perfect.  We all process incoming stimuli with a number of different lenses.  What's fabulous is that you can choose to change it or you can accept it.

Courtesy of:

Visual Capitalist