Information Processing Bias

information processing bias

Information processing bias refers to the incapacity to comprehend information in an appropriate way and the unreasonable and hasty perception of it.

Information Processing Bias, like belief perseverance bias, is a cognitive bias. Due to previous news conditioning, people with belief perseverance bias are unable to absorb new facts. The person refuses to digest new information since it is difficult for them to grasp, break down, and comprehend the issue.

People make decisions based on the available information they have. No one can go through all available information for decision-making. So, fast information processing causes various cognitive biases. The cognitive biases that are induced by information processing are listed alphabetically below, along with a brief description of each one.

Attentional Bias

It happens when people focus all of their attention on a single stimulus or sensory input. Attentional bias influences not only what we see in the environment, but also the decisions we make depending on what we see.

In many situations, especially when dealing with threats, attentional bias can be highly beneficial. It enables you to focus on the aspects of your surroundings that pose the greatest threat and require action. Paying too much attention to things that are not actually threats, on the other hand, can lead to issues such as irrational decision-making and stress.

Automation Bias

It’s a common blunder made by people in highly automated decision-making scenarios. When it comes to cognitive work, humans attempt to reduce mental strain. This is why it usually uses automated assistance.

However, according to Mosier and co. The use of automated aids may lessen the likelihood that decision-makers may engage in a cognitive effort to look for additional diagnostic information or to interpret the available information in a cognitively complex manner.

For example, Layton, Smith, and McCoy observed pilots using a graphical tool for flight planning, and the results revealed an automation bias because the information at the start of the problem assessment was unclear, causing pilots to follow the advice of a computer, even though the recommendation was not good and could result in unfavorable outcomes.

Choice-Supportive Bias

The tendency to attribute favorable characteristics to a decision or alternative after it has been made. People, on the other hand, choose good features that they have chosen, but they assign bad attributes to choices that they have not made.

Henkel & Mather, for example, asked participants to pick between two cars with different attributes. They were then given seven days to identify whether attribute X belongs to the chosen car or the other. The findings demonstrate that people have more positive attributes for the car they chose and more negative characteristics for the car they rejected.

Context Effect

It is more difficult to restore memories that are out of context than memories that are in context. McKenzie and Tiberghien, for example, conducted an experiment in which participants looked at a list of words and did recognition tests using target words presented in the same or different contexts.

Furthermore, they may use similar or dissimilar terminology (singular-plural). The findings revealed a context effect, which the authors believe is attributable in part to the effect of familiarity and recognition.

Contrast Effect

A bias in which a decision-maker views information differently than before. When a man is instantly or concurrently compared to a less or more attractive man, he will appear more or less attractive than if he is shown alone. As a result, Bhargava and Fisman studied roughly 500 people who made over 7,000 love decisions in fast dating.

Speed dating is a type of organized matching where men and women meet possible mates in a series of brief exchanges, or dates, each lasting a few minutes. The findings revealed that there is a contrast effect in speed dating judgments, particularly among male evaluators.

Cross-Race Effect

Members of one’s own race or ethnicity are more likely to be recognized by eyewitnesses than members of other races or ethnicities.

Fading Effect Bias

The intensity of emotions connected with joyful memories tends to decline more slowly over time than emotions associated with bad memories. This autobiographical memory tendency has been confirmed utilizing various approaches and populations. Gibbons and colleagues looked into the influence of drinking frequency on both alcohol-related and non-alcohol-related events.

This bias was thought to increase drinking and other alcohol-related behaviors. However, the unpleasant emotions linked with this behavior go away, increasing the likelihood of this behavior recurring again.

The research evidence backs up the hypothesis. The findings revealed that people who consumed substantial amounts of alcohol over a short period of time (a week) had a stronger fading effect bias for alcohol-related events than those who did not.

Duration Neglect

People place a high value on short-term experiences and place less emphasis on the duration of an event.

Egocentric Bias

It happens when someone thinks about the world from a personal perspective and their self-perception is excessive.

Fading Effect Bias

The emotional intensity connected with positive memories fades more slowly over time than feelings associated with bad events.

False Memory

It’s a misrepresentation of an actual event or a fabrication of one. According to Loftus, false memories are created by blending real experiences with recommendations from others. It’s also feasible to create false memories by convincing someone to imagine having specific experiences without considering whether or not they truly happened.

Focusing Effect

A tendency to make decisions based on the clearest evidence available in working memory, while ignoring other information. If you’re going to buy a new automobile and your present vehicle has a small trunk, for example, you’re likely to choose a vehicle with a larger trunk.

Generation Effect

When we actively participate in the creation of information rather than receiving it from a third party, we are more likely to remember it. Slamecka and Graf, for example, conduct five tests to assess memory for words generated by participants using the same words they were obliged to read.

In every experiment, the outcomes for words created by the participants were better than those for words read. Furthermore, the bias was duplicated using a range of variables, including encoder rules and timing.

Google Effect

The tendency to forget information that is supposed to be accessible in the future via an Internet search.

Hindsight Bias

It occurs when people overestimate their ability to forecast highly unpredictable outcomes. Consider the situation where you are looking at a gray sky with a low probability of rain. It starts to pour after a while, and you think to yourself, “I knew it was going to fall!” Bias has been observed in a variety of contexts, including the legal, medical, and consumer sectors.

Hostile Media Effect

It arises when competing parties view the same media coverage of a controversial subject to be biased on their side.

Humor Effect

The tendency for hilarious stuff to be remembered more frequently than non-humorous material.

Illusion of Truth Effect

A common statement is more likely to be trusted than a completely new one.

Illusory Correlation

It’s the appearance of a link between two variables, even if there’s only one or a very minor relationship in fact.

Information Bias

People seek information on which to logically base their decisions, but assuming that all information is valuable is a mistake.

Level of Processing Effect

Memories that were processed in depth tended to be longer durable, whereas memories that were processed superficially decayed quickly. This is accomplished by cognitive processing.

It is initially concerned with the stimulus’s character, which is why it is preferable to save information that has undergone thorough processing over information that has just been digested superficially. There are also cognitive mechanisms capable of processing large amounts of data.

List Length Effect

It refers to the fact that shortlists perform better than long lists when it comes to recognition. This is supported by numerous studies. However, multiple studies have found no evidence of this type of prejudice.

In fact, Dennis and Humphreys showed that when the task of recognizing memory is regulated by the concentration, retention interval, practice, and context of the tasks, the effect of list length may be avoided. As a result, the study has been surrounded by plenty of controversial data that has sparked heated debate.

Misinformation Effect

It refers to how information received after an event might interfere with or affect our original memory of the event. Loftus conducted a study in which participants watched an accident involving green cars. They were then asked misleading questions assuming it was blue rather than green.

The participants were then asked to choose the color of the car using the color wheel. The findings demonstrated that those who had been deceived were more likely to shift their color preferences (to a “blue-green” color that was a blend of the original color) to the inaccurate information.

Mood-Congruent Memory Bias

The ability to recall experiences that are congruent with one’s current mindset is known as mood-congruent memory bias. Watkins and colleagues. examined the implicit bias of mood-congruent memory in people suffering from depression.

Participants (depressed and nondepressed groups) were asked to examine words that had neutral, positive, and negative affective values and form free associations with various signals. The results indicated that those who were depressed had higher priming of negative words while those who were not depressed had higher pre-priming of positive words.

Peak End Rule

The inclination to evaluate experiences mostly depends on how they felt at the beginning and end. In a study by Kahneman, Fredrickson, Schreiber, and Redelmeier on the peak-end rule and pain, participants preferred 60 seconds of 14oC ice water followed by 30 seconds of 15oC ice water over 60 seconds of 14oC ice water alone.

Despite the fact that ice water at these temperatures is unpleasant, individuals in that situation preferred more pain to less pain. According to the authors, the peak pain experienced throughout the event and the end level of pain influence pain ratings.


It occurs when a person recalls an incident or truth that they would prefer to forget. For example, Ochsner looked at the states of consciousness that occur when emotional images are recognized, as well as the processes of recall and familiarity that may be involved.

The findings revealed that people are far more likely to be identified when they recognize positive imagery. The negative impact, on the other hand, improved recall and memory. Participants provided more explicit information about their feelings and ideas in response to negative emotional images.

Processing Difficulty Effect

The ability to remember information that has been thoroughly thought out and processed with greater difficulty than basic information. O’Brien and Myers, for example, continued to collaborate with Cairns and others. Participants were forced to read texts with a predefined or unanticipated target term based on the previous context.

The writers claim that when they came across the word challenging and couldn’t grasp it, they read other parts of the text to try to understand it and then took it in. For those who are rereading parts of a text, the reprocessing process may result in improved memory.

Serial Position Effect

The first and last items in a series are more likely to be remembered than the middle ones. When stimuli are presented at the beginning or end of a list in learning tasks, the chances of recalling a stimulus based on its position are higher.

People with typical memory ability, for example, could retain roughly 70% of the first three items, 60% of the last three words, and only 40% of the three middle words after being presented with a nine-item word list. It is a well-known phenomenon in the media and advertising.


The tendency to incorporate information from external sources into one’s personal memory, such as wrong inquiries. This data can be obtained from a variety of sources.

advertisements, for example, frequently use this bias. Imagine you’re watching a commercial asking you incorrect questions, such as “When was the last time you had fun? Do you enjoy using Trivago?” These questions are meant to connect the brand to a pleasant experience.

Suggestion questions, according to Schacter et al., cause memory distortions by causing source memory problems.

Zeigarnik Effect

The tendency to retain more unfinished things than completed items. Participants were given tasks such tasks as solving puzzles, as well as stringing beads. Then, participants were interrupted halfway through the challenge.

Then they were asked to recall the activities they remembered doing. The results revealed that the participants remembered twice as often the tasks that were interrupted as those they accomplished.

When we begin to complete something, we’re more likely to complete the task, which means that humans want to finish what they began since our brains are able to keep in mind the tasks that are not completed. But, if you’re not motivated enough to finish it, you’ll never complete the task.


Sometimes, cognitive biases can help us make rapid and effective decisions, but on others, they can cause us to make irrational and incorrect decisions. These biases might not have a significant impact when making a minor decision, but we must be cautious when we are involved in making big decisions.

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