Biases And Fallacies In Short

I tend to find that the words bias and fallacy are often used as if they were interchangeable. But there is a difference.

Some fallacies are committed intentionally to manipulate, while others are committed unintentionally due to carelessness or ignorance.

With practice, we can learn to recognize and completely avoid mistakes of logic. This is not true of biases.

While faults of logic come from how we think, and thus we can simply change our thinking to be more logical, biases arise from the very cognitive machinery that allows us to think. Behind every cognitive bias is a mental process which is automatic.

Not all fallacies are the result of cognitive biases.

A cognitive bias is a blind spot in your thinking and, just like the blind spot in your vision, it’s very hard to notice without it being pointed out. But having a cognitive bias doesn’t guarantee that you’ll commit the corresponding error.

While it may be very difficult, if not impossible, to intuitively see past our biases, we can avert the urge to run with them and eagerly allow them to distort our view. We can stop ourselves from falling back on them. We can open our views up to criticism from our peers.

The more precisely we understand biases the more effectively we can apply critical thinking.


Now my next fun is to spot biases and fallacies during work!


Addition to previous post: Thinking, Fast and Slow – My Takeaways

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s