Here’s a thing:


Some paraphrasing…

Anchoring Bias: the unwillingness to stray to far from the quoted price, for fear of demonstrating that you have no idea of what you’re doing.

Availability Heuristic: the power ascribed to anecdotal evidence, most frequently in reference to the benefits of a gluten-free diet, and the perils of vaccination.

Bandwagon Effect: the willingness to be foolish when surrounded by other equally foolish people

Blind-spot Bias: the belief that you alone are capable of rational thought, while all these other people are idiots.

Choice-supportive Bias: the delusion of knowing that your child is the cutest, despite all recoiling evidence to the contrary.

Clustering Illusion: the mistaken belief that all bad things come in threes.

Confirmation Bias: more commonly known as the “I Told You So Dance”, repeatedly favoured over its almost-unheard-of “Backward Quickstep followed by an apology” sister.

Conservative Bias: the act of describing an easier way of doing things as ‘new-fangled’ and ‘morally-suspect’.

Information Bias: the self-important search for extraneous fact in the pursuit of having time or someone else make the decision for you.

Ostrich Effect: the ancient tradition of attending a violin concert while the world burns.

Outcome Bias: the self-reflection that a good outcome must have meant that you were wise and crafty in the process of achieving it; especially common amongst first-time gamblers and the heirs of large estates.

Overconfidence: the universal self-assessment of above-average driver competence

Placebo Effect: the inadvertent fulfilment of a baseless belief.

Pro-innovation Bias: a faith-based hunt for a problem to your clever solution.

Recency: the discrimination against long-term memory by completing forgetting about it.

Salience: a deeply-held anxiety around infrequent air travel, whilst calmly ignoring the universal self-assessment of above-average driver competence in the car on the way to the airport.

Selective Perception: the reason that both teams can be simultaneously victimised by a referee who clearly favours their opponent.

Stereotyping: a crisis whereby a statistically-accurate label ignores the labelee’s innate humanity.

Survivorship Bias: a realisation that history repeats itself because only the winners are remembered.

Zero-risk Bias: support for a painful preventative measure without any realistic possibility of a problem.

I’ve recently been revisiting Ambrose Bierce’s “The Devil’s Dictionary“. If you liked any of the above, then just know that they’re inspired by him, and you’ll find that book hysterical.

Happy Friday.

Rolling Alpha posts about finance, economics, and sometimes stuff that is only quite loosely related. Follow me on Twitter @RollingAlpha, or like my page on Facebook at Or both.