QUIZ: How Good Are You At Detecting Bias? (with Lesson Plan)

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Over the course of a normal day you make hundreds, even thousands, of decisions. What shoes to wear, what news to pay attention to, what time to go to bed ... you get the idea.

Although some of these decisions are guided by logic, the direction we end up going can just as easily be shaped by a powerful force called cognitive bias. It's the tendency we humans all have to sometimes leave logic and objective reasoning at the door and make choices based on ideas that don't necessarily make a ton of sense.

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” – Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Lesson Plan: How to Recognize Bias (PDF)



Cognitive bias is basically a mental stumbling block, a kind of brain glitch that can cause flaws in our judgement. And it's the key reason that hard facts and evidence are sometimes not convincing enough to change our minds about certain deeply-held positions and beliefs.

Five common types of cognitive bias




Anchoring bias
Relying too heavily on the first piece of information you come across



Blind-spot bias
Recognizing bias in others, but failing to recognize it in yourself



Confirmation bias
Listening to and trusting only information that confirms your beliefs (like maybe your Facebook news feed!)



Negativity bias
Focusing on negative events at the expense of positive or neutral events



Outcome bias
Making a decision based on the outcome of a previous event without any regard to other factors involved

Take this quiz to test how adept you are at recognizing five of the most common forms of cognitive bias that most likely influence your daily decision-making.