Chapter 2

Cognitive biases in decision making

A cognitive bias is a way of interpreting and acting on information that is not strictly rational. For example, you might hire a candidate for a job because they went to the same school as you. There are many types of cognitive bias – with both positive and negative consequences – so it is important to understand how they work.

When to use it

  • To understand how you make decisions, so that you can avoid making bad ones.
  • To understand how others reach their point of view in discussions.
  • To influence the decision-making processes in your organisation.


While there is a long history of research on cognitive biases, most people agree that the ‘fathers’ of the field are psychologists Amos Tversky ...

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