The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

Cognitive Biases

Cognitive biases represent flaws in our perception, judgement and decision making. They are hard-wired in our brain to enable fast, efficient decision-making, yet they can also make us prone to errors and lead to sub-optimal decisions. In the 1970s, psychologists Amos Tversky and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman conducted pioneering research in this area, illustrating how many cognitive biases and mental heuristics and shortcuts can lead us to make flawed choices and decisions. Cognitive biases arise not only from mental shortcuts but also emotional motivation, social influence and cognitive limitations.

 

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