Cognitive biases are convenient intellectual shortcuts that allow us to streamline our decision making processes (heuristics) and have evolved to help humans process information quickly when under pressure. These biases are founded on values, memory (experience, beliefs and training), socialisation and personal attributes and, as such, can result in illogical and irrational decisions, and misjudgement of risks and threats.
Imagine working on a jigsaw puzzle of an image where there is a prize for guessing what the image is as soon as possible and therefore before all the pieces are in place. Cognitive biases allow a human to create a subjective reality based on incomplete information. This gives us a competitive edge but can lead to perceptual distortion, inaccurate judgement, illogical interpretation, or what is broadly called irrationality.
Cognitive bias in aviation
There are many types of cognitive bias that can affect the safety of flight, including: