A list of the most relevant biases in behavioral economics
Why do we prefer doing something to doing nothing?
Why do we rely on our current emotions when making quick decisions?
Why do we prefer options we know?
Why do we compare everything to the first piece of information we received?
Why do we focus more on some things than others?
Why do we tend to think that things that happened recently are more likely to happen again?
Why do we support opinions as they become more popular?
Why do we believe our horoscopes?
Base Rate Fallacy
Why do we rely on specific information over statistics?
Why do we focus on trivial things?
Why do we transfer negative emotions about being broke on items that we purchase?
Why are we satisfied by “good enough?”
Why do we value items purchased in a bundle less than those purchased individually?
Why are we likely to spend more after reading the word “bye”?
Why does paying without physical cash increase the likelihood that we purchase something?
Category Size Bias
Why do we think we’re more likely to win at the big casino versus the small one?
Why do we have a harder time choosing when we have more options?
Why is it so hard to change someone's beliefs?
Why do people support their past ideas, even when presented with evidence that they're wrong?
Why do we favor our existing beliefs?
Why do we make worse decisions at the end of the day?
Why do we think the past is better than the future?
Why do we feel more strongly about one option after a third one is added?
Why do we tend to hold on to losing investments?
Why do we view options as more distinct when evaluating them simultaneously?
Why can we not perceive our own abilities?
Why do we mispredict how much our emotions influence our behavior?
Why do we value items more if they belong to us?
Extrinsic Incentive Bias
Why do we think others are in it for the money, but we’re in it for the experience?
Why do our decisions depend on how options are presented to us?
Why do we have trouble thinking outside the box?
Fundamental Attribution Error
Why do we underestimate the influence of the situation on people’s behavior?
Why do we think a random event is more or less likely to occur if it happened several times in the past?
Why do we forget information that we just looked up?
Why do positive impressions produced in one area positively influence our opinions in another area?
Why is our confidence disproportionate to the difficulty of a task?
Why do we take mental shortcuts?
Why do we see unpredictable events as predictable after they occur?
Why do we expect previous successful performance to lead to future successful performance?
Why do we value immediate rewards more than long-term rewards?
Why do we place disproportionately high value on things we helped to create?
Identifiable Victim Effect
Why are we more likely to offer help to a specific individual than a vague group?
Illusion of Control
Why do we think we have more control over the world than we do?
Illusion of Validity
Why are we overconfident in our predictions?
Why do we think some things are related when they aren’t?
Illusory Truth Effect
Why do we believe misinformation more easily when it’s repeated many times?
Why do we treat our in-group better than we do our out-group?
Why do we work harder when we are promised a reward?
Why do we believe that we get what we deserve?
Why does spacing out the repetition of information make one more likely to remember it?
Law of the Instrument
Why do we use the same skills everywhere?
Why do our preferences change depending on whether we judge our options together or separately?
Leveling and Sharpening
Why do we exaggerate some details of a story, but minimize others?
Levels of Processing
Why do we remember information that we attach significance to better than information we repeat?
Why do scientists keep looking for a statistically significant result after failing to find one initially?
Why do we buy insurance?
Why do we think less about some purchases than others?
Mere Exposure Effect
Why do we prefer things that we are familiar with?
Motivating Uncertainty Effect
Why are we more motivated by rewards of unknown sizes?
Why do we prefer to spread limited resources across our options?
Why do we believe we have an objective understanding of the world?
Why is the news always so depressing?
Noble Edge Effect
Why do we tend to favor brands that show care for societal issues?
How do our sentimental feelings for the past influence our actions in the present?
Observer Expectancy Effect
Why do we change our behavior when we’re being watched?
Why don’t we pull the trolley lever?
Why do we overestimate the probability of success?
Why do we prefer to ignore negative information?
Why do we lose interest in an activity after we are rewarded for it?
How do our memories differ from our experiences?
Why do we think we’re destined to fail?
Why do we underestimate how long it will take to complete a task?
Why do we only remember the first things on our grocery list?
Why do some ideas prompt other ideas later on without our conscious awareness?
Why do we think our current preferences will remain the same in the future?
Why is negotiation so difficult?
Why do we anticipate regret before we make a decision?
Why do we use similarity to gauge statistical probability?
Why do we give false survey responses?
Why do we overestimate our self-control?
Why do we think the good old days were so good?
Why do we focus on items or information that are more prominent and ignore those that are not?
Why do we blame external factors for our own mistakes?
Serial Position Effect
Why do we better remember items at the beginning or end of a list?
Sexual Overperception Bias
Why do men think that women are always flirting with them?
Why do we follow the behavior of others?
Why do we forget where our memories come from?
Why do we retain information better when we learn it over a long time period?
Why do we feel like we stand out more than we really do?
Status Quo Bias
Why do we tend to leave things as they are?
Why is yawning contagious?
Why do we misjudge groups by only looking at specific group members?
Why do we focus on one characteristic to compare when choosing between alternatives?
Why do some things “seem like they just happened yesterday?”
The Illusion of Explanatory Depth
Why do we think we understand the world more than we actually do?
The Pygmalion effect
Why do we perform better when someone has high expectations of us?
The Sunk Cost Fallacy
Why are we likely to continue with an investment even if it would be rational to give it up?
Zero Risk Bias
Why do we seek certainty in risky situations?