The Benjamin Franklin Effect: How to Build Rapport by Asking for Favors

  The Benjamin Franklin effect is a cognitive bias that causes people to like someone more after they do that person a favor, especially if they previously disliked that person or felt neutral toward them. For example, the Ben Franklin effect could cause someone who disliked you to start liking you after they do you …

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The Overkill Backfire Effect: On The Danger of Presenting Too Much Evidence

  The overkill backfire effect is a cognitive bias that causes people who encounter a complex explanation to reject it in favor of a simpler alternative, and to sometimes also reinforce their belief in the simpler alternative. For example, if someone is presented with a complicated scientific explanation for a certain phenomenon, the overkill backfire effect …

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Authority Bias: Lessons from the Milgram Obedience Experiment

  The authority bias is a cognitive bias that makes people predisposed to believe authority figures and obey their orders. Most notably, the authority bias is associated with people’s tendency to obey the orders of someone that they perceive as an authority figure, even when they believe that there’s something wrong with those orders, and …

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The Halo Effect: Why People Often Judge a Book by Its Cover

  The halo effect is a cognitive bias that causes people’s impression of one aspect of something to influence their impression of other aspects of it. For example, the halo effect can cause people to assume that someone will have an interesting personality, simply because they find that person to be physically attractive. Essentially, the halo …

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The Backfire Effect: Why Facts Don’t Always Change Minds

  In a perfectly rational world, people who encounter evidence that challenges their beliefs would first evaluate this evidence, and then adjust their beliefs accordingly. However, in reality this is seldom the case. Instead, when people encounter evidence that should cause them to doubt their beliefs, they often reject this evidence, and strengthen their support for …

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The Spotlight Effect: How to Stop Being Self-Conscious

  The spotlight effect is a cognitive bias that causes people to overestimate the degree to which they are observed and noticed by others, as well as the degree to which others care about the things that they notice about them. For example, the spotlight effect could cause someone to think that everyone is going …

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The Illusion of Transparency: Why You’re Not as Obvious as You Think You Are

  The illusion of transparency is a cognitive bias that causes people to overestimate the degree to which their thoughts and emotions are apparent to others. For example, the illusion of transparency can cause people who feel nervous about public speaking to overestimate the degree to which their nervousness is noticed by the audience. Because …

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