Buster Benson in Quartz:
I’ve spent many years referencing Wikipedia’s list of cognitive biaseswhenever I have a hunch that a certain type of thinking is an official bias but I can’t recall the name or details. But despite trying to absorb the information of this page many times over the years, very little of it seems to stick.
I decided to try to more deeply absorb and understand this list by coming up with a simpler, clearer organizing structure. If you look at these biases according to the problem they’re trying to solve, it becomes a lot easier to understand why they exist, how they’re useful, and the trade-offs (and resulting mental errors) that they introduce.
Four problems that biases help us address: Information overload, lack of meaning, the need to act fast, and how to know what needs to be remembered for later.
Problem 1: Too much information
There is just too much information in the world; we have no choice but to filter almost all of it out. Our brain uses a few simple tricks to pick out the bits of information that are most likely going to be useful in some way.