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A Taxonomy of Cognitive Bias

Maybe it’s all confirmation bias – which is what I always thought

It has always bothered me that cognitive biases tend to be presented as a list of errors in human judgment that are largely independent of one another. The sheer number of biases that have been identified (just check out this wikipedia page!) is pretty astonishing, making it is hard to imagine that these biases are wholly independent errors, unrelated to each other or having no common genesis.

One of the things I was trying to do in Quit was to tie together a set of biases under a single umbrella: that we don’t like to stop things once we have started them. Once you look at biases like the sunk cost fallacy, endowment effect, loss aversion, status quo bias, and opportunity cost neglect, among others, through the lens of errors in sticking to things to long, they no longer feel so independent.

If they are not in the same nuclear family, they at least are cousins.

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