Daniel Lemire's blog

, 6 min read

Cognitive biases

8 thoughts on “Cognitive biases”

  1. jld says:

    Eh! Il y a quand même des raisons de croire qu’il y a eu des périodes plus favorables que d’autres, ce n’est pas pour rien qu’en France l’intervalle entre la guerre de 70 et la guerre de 14 a été nommée “la Belle Epoque” (pour certains du moins).

  2. People were better off in France in 1930 than they were in 1910 by a wide margin. It is true that things took a turn for the worse in 1914-1918, but if you look at the numbers… mortality, GDP per capita… it is really more of a dent in the curve than anything else.

  3. Peter Turney says:

    Wikipedia has a long list of cognitive biases:



    Sabine Hossenfelder likes to talk about cognitive bias:


  4. Peter Turney says:
  5. Peter Turney says:

    There is a technical sense in which a certain degree of bias can be a good thing:


    Arguably instincts are biases that have been hardwired into brains in order to improve chances of survival.


    Bias is often a problem, but also bias is often useful.

    1. I agree. I believe that Nassim Taleb might have argued that we only dismiss cognitive biases as bad because we fail to understand the underlying model.

  6. Peter Turney says:

    “… we only dismiss cognitive biases as bad …” — should be: “… we sometimes dismiss cognitive biases as bad …”

    1. Yes. I have not re-read Nassim in quite some time… so I do not quite remember exactly how he stated it.

      It is certainly true that, some of the time, we dismiss biases as bad because we misunderstand what function they serve. That’s a bit like someone watching a Chess game and counting the pieces. It may seem irrational to trade a Queen for a bishop… but you should wait to see how it unfolds.