This decision to choose the known over the unknown is an example of “the ambiguity effect.” In a nutshell, this cognitive bias occurs when people choose options that have a known probability of a favorable outcome over choices where a favorable outcome is unknown or is unpredictable.
Our brains are more likely to remember and recall negative feedback or experiences versus positive ones because of the negativity bias. As a result, our perception of the world around us could be skewed to the negative unless we actively work to counteract this natural tendency.
The Dunning-Kruger effect occurs when people believe that they are smarter, more capable, and higher-performing than they really are.
The availability heuristic allows us to make decisions quickly and solve problems based on our past experiences and the information we have learned and stored in our memory banks for quick access.
Attribution bias can often lead to faulty decision making because it fundamentally miscategorizes the cause of an action, which then leads us to make decisions based on that incorrect assumption.
Confirmation bias affects decision-making of all kinds, from whom you choose to vote for to what you pick to eat off the menu at a restaurant. But what exactly is it? Where does it come from? And what can be done to lessen its influence?
For 18 years I have worked with some of the youngest learners — emerging readers. In just my second year as a teacher I was assigned the inclusion 2nd-grade classroom, working with children who are 7-years old and have learning differences. It pushed me to find new ways to help them embrace critical thinking.
For social psychologist Irving Janis, Pearl Harbor was a perfect example of what he called “groupthink” in a 1971 article in Psychology Today. For Janis, groupthink was at the heart of some of the worst disasters and poorest decisions in world history, including Pearl Harbor. Today groupthink continues to help explain many large-scale blunders and problems, from the 2008 financial crisis to social media pile-on.
The internet offers a wealth of resources for learning and social connection. But it also can expose impressionable young people to false information that can undercut their education. To be successful learners, kids and teens need to be savvy critical thinkers.
Adults can do a lot to help kids and teens become critical thinkers, and many underestimate how much reasoning their children can do at a young age.