Decision-making is never completely rational. Systematically, grains of sand slip into it that make it deviate from logic, tainting it with erroneous judgments. These are cognitive biases. Kinds of unconscious thought shortcuts that facilitate reasoning, but distort it. They can lead to outright errors, such as convincing oneself of the veracity of information that is inaccurate but strongly relayed on social networks. In this case, a conformity bias comes into play, that is to say a tendency to think and act as others do, like the sheep of Panurge. Most often, they lead to a misinterpretation of a situation that takes place in an ambiguous context, requiring filling in missing information.
It was in the early 70s that the term was introduced by psychologists Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002, and Amos Tversky. They put their finger on these sneaky mechanisms as they try to explain stock market anomalies, not by market logic effects, but by other factors related to the cognitive behavior of economists. Then, this underlying functioning is discovered in other areas of activity: irrational decisions are made in the same way, in health, law or in companies... and in fact in everyone in the smallest acts of daily life.
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