• Martin Gagnon

What Was I Thinking?

One of the toughest things to confront when teaching Literacy Media Skills to anyone is guarding against your own biases. The truth is that when we look at information to determine its validity, we often view it with an already half formed judgement. In 1972, psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky introduced the concept of cognitive biases. Tversky and Kahneman explained human differences in judgement and decision making in terms of heuristics. Heuristics involve mental shortcuts which provide swift estimates about the possibility of uncertain occurrences. Heuristics are simple for the brain to compute but Tversky and Kahneman argued they sometimes introduce "severe and systematic errors.” In other words, our judgments often defy logic because of these errors. This chart, that appeared in a Business Insider story by Shana Lebowitz and Samantha Lee, is a graphic illustration of some biases.


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