5 cognitive biases that limit our potential

Who I am
Louise Hay


Author and references
We like to think that we are rational people, that most
of our decisions are made by weighing the pros and cons. This
belief gives us a sense of security and comforts us. However, next day
day we are victims of cognitive distortions.Cognitive biases are deviations in the thought process that lead to
distortions, an inaccurate judgment or an illogical interpretation of the
events. In many cases, these distortions are due to the need for
take a position with respect to certain stimuli but without having all of them
necessary information. So we can draw wrong conclusions.

Obviously, cognitive distortions allow us to act quickly but not
they always make us make the best decision. In fact, they often keep us stuck
in our comfort zone, where we feel safe, and keep us from
develop our full potential.

The good news is that once you learn to recognize bias
cognitive we will no longer be at their mercy.

The most limiting cognitive distortions

1. Confirmation effect. It is the tendency to privilege the information that

confirm our beliefs and discard those that deny them, a
phenomenon that is seen with greater intensity when it comes to the content of
emotional nature or when beliefs are deeply rooted. This
prejudice also leads us to interpret ambiguous evidence in favor of the
our position. For example, a person who is against abortion tends to find
the evidence to support his ideas.

As victims of this prejudice we tend to close ourselves to new ideas or
positions that are different from ours, we entrench ourselves in our position
and we refuse to go a step further, if only to achieve
an understanding with the other person or to broaden our horizons.

2. Anchor effect. It is the tendency to "anchor" to a
element or part of the information ignoring the rest. We are victims of
this prejudice when, for example, we buy considering only the price
of the product or when we get angry with our partner about an accident
isolated by focusing only on one defect and not seeing the rest of the qualities
of the person.

The anchoring effect leads us to adopt a very distorted view of
actually, it is as if we move through life wearing the blinders that we do
only allow you to see some details. This way we will never analyze
situations as a whole, we will not have a global vision of events and,
over time, this will cause us to make bad decisions.

3. Loss aversion. Once we own something or have it
established a relationship with someone, we prefer to avoid loss to any
cost rather than making a profit. For example, in economic terms,
a person asks for more money to give up an item than it would be
been willing to pay to buy it new. This is because we
we extend our "I" to our possessions and relationships so that to
our eyes their value increases.

It is a very widespread cognitive prejudice in the popular imagination and
has been translated with the phrase: “better the
bad known that the good to know ". Obviously, this trend can make us very unhappy, because it holds us back
linked to the past, to things and people we know, closing ourselves to new ones

4. Retrospective bias. It is the tendency to look back thinking that the
their decisions were better than they actually were. Yes
it is a reinterpretation that we do to feel good about ourselves,
modifying the memory of the ideas contrary to the decision taken that there
they came to mind at that moment. Since we cannot return
back and change the decision made, let's implement this mechanism
through which we are convinced that we have opted for the alternative

However, self-deception is never the best solution, because it prevents us
to learn from our mistakes and lock us in a vicious circle. The assumption
of an objective attitude regarding our decisions, there
allows us to grow and further develop our potential by changing
perhaps the way we set out on the path or letting us choose one
different direction next time.

5. Gap effect in exposure. This is the tendency to express
preferences for certain acts or things, simply because they appear to us
family members. Undoubtedly, the imprint we received during ours
childhood is very strong and manifests itself throughout life giving us a sense
safety. Of course, this cognitive distortion doesn't just apply to
childhood experiences. For example, a person can vote for a party
political only because he is the most publicized and is familiar to him or can
assume a certain position only because certain arguments seem to him
not new.

However, choose certain experiences or opt for relationships only
because they are familiar to us prevents us from leaving our area of
comfort. When we are unable to evaluate alternatives and prefer
staying in the known zone, we are not exploiting our full potential
and at the end of the journey we could probably ask ourselves: what would that be
happened if ...?

If you think you have never been a victim of these cognitive distortions, probably
you are suffering from what is known as "blind spot bias" which means not realizing
of their own prejudices by considering themselves as a person who has less
prejudices with respect to others.

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