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.

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What can testers learn from economics? Opportunity Cost

In the microeconomics books you can meet the term: opportunity cost or alternative cost.

When me make a decision, we discard the the alternatives. With the opportunity cost we can give a weight of the lost possibilities, in other words the benefit we would have gotten if we had chosen to do something else, the roads not taken. It can happen that we don’t even consider in other options other than what we are doing, because we are busy concentrating on the obvious.

Tl;dr: every opportunity has a cost.

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What can testers learn from psychology? Inattentional Blindness

Actually, there is a lot to learn from sciences, that can help testers to be better in their job. I’m focusing on inattentional blindness here.

By definition inattentional blidness is the failure to notice a fully-visible, but unexpected object because attention was engaged on another task, event, or object.

How many times have you been browsing through the software you’re testing and missed an obvious bug? How many times have you felt that you should have noticed the issue that was reported by someone else?

Continue reading What can testers learn from psychology? Inattentional Blindness