Stories About Human Biases 😃
Once upon a time a grain merchant loaded wheat on his camel's back. He managed to load 50 kilograms of wheat on one side. In order to balance the burden, he loaded another 50 kgs bag of sand on the other side.
A passing man noticed this and asked the merchant: "Why you don't split the wheat to 25 kilograms on each side. That will help to lighten the weight and will allow the camel to move faster." The merchant liked that idea very much and immediately implemented the advice of the man.
Then the merchant asked the man "Oh sir, you seem very wise, who are you, are you a known scholar or did you study in some well-known school?"
The man replied to him: "No, I'm just a common man and have no strong credentials as you assumed".
Following this answer, the merchant restored the sand bag and wheat and positioned them as they initially were!
To explain the strange events even in this simple short story properly you need at least 3 cognitive biases:
- AUTHORITY BIAS. The tendency to attribute greater accuracy to the opinion of an authority figure (irrespective of its actual content) and the tendency to be more influenced by such opinion.
- FUNDAMENTAL ATTRIBUTION ERROR. Overemphasizing personal factors and under-estimating situational factors when explaining other people's behavior.
- CONFIRMATION BIAS. Paying more attention to information that reinforces previously held beliefs and ignoring evidence of the contrary.
Think a while about how often you probably fall victim of your own human biases when you're making a decision or when you're judging other people…
⇨ Do you know a similar funny story involving other biases?