Bias List

Social Biases



The act of matching attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors to group norms. Norms are implicit, unsaid rules, shared by a group of individuals, that guide their interactions with others.


Cross-Race Effect

The tendency for people of one race to have difficulty identifying members of a race other than their own.


Curse of Knowledge

When people who are more well-informed cannot understand the common man.


Defensive Attribution Hypothesis

Attributing more blame to a harm-doer as the outcome becomes more severe or as personal or situational similarity to the victim increases.

egocentric bias

Egocentric Bias

Occurs when people claim more responsibility for themselves for the results of a joint action than an outside observer would.


Empathy Gap

Where people in one state of mind fail to understand people in another state of mind.

false consensus effect

False Consensus Effect

The tendency for people to overestimate the degree to which others agree with them.

forer effect

Forer Effect

The tendency to give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people.


Fundamental Attribution Error

The tendency for people to over-emphasize personality-based explanations for behaviors observed in others while under-emphasizing the role and power of situational influences on the same behavior.


Group Attribution Error

The biased belief that the characteristics of an individual group member are reflective of the group as a whole or the tendency to assume that group decision outcomes reflect the preferences of group members, even when information is available that clearly suggests otherwise.


Halo Effect

The tendency for a person's positive or negative traits to "spill over" from one personality area to another in others' perceptions of them


Identifiable Victim Effect

The tendency to respond more strongly to a single identified person at risk than to a large group of people at risk.


Illusion of Asymmetric Insight

People perceive their knowledge of their peers to surpass their peers' knowledge of them.


Illusion of Transparency

People overestimate others' ability to know them, and they also overestimate their ability to know others.


Ingroup Bias

The tendency for people to give preferential treatment to others they perceive to be members of their own groups.


Just-World Hypothesis

The tendency for people to want to believe that the world is fundamentally just, causing them to rationalize an otherwise inexplicable injustice as deserved by the victim(s).


Mere Exposure Effect

The tendency to express undue liking for things merely because of familiarity with them.


Moral Credential Effect

The tendency of a track record of non-prejudice to increase subsequent prejudice.


Naïve Cynicism

Expecting more egocentric bias in others than in oneself.


Negativity Effect

The tendency of people, when evaluating the causes of the behaviors of a person they dislike, to attribute their positive behaviors to the environment and their negative behaviors to the person's inherent nature.


Outgroup Homogeneity Bias

Individuals see members of their own group as being relatively more varied than members of other groups.


Projection Bias

The tendency to unconsciously assume that others (or one's future selves) share one's current emotional states, thoughts and values.


Reactive Devaluation

Devaluing proposals only because they purportedly originated with an adversary.


Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

The tendency to engage in behaviors that elicit results which will (counsciously or not) confirm existing attitudes.


Self-Serving Bias

The tendency to claim more responsibility for successes than failures. It may also manifest itself as a tendency for people to evaluate ambiguous information in a way beneficial to their interests.


Shared Information Bias

The tendency for group members to spend more time and energy discussing information that all members are already familiar with (i.e., shared information), and less time and energy discussing information that only some members are aware of (i.e., unshared information).


Social Comparison Bias

The tendency, when making hiring decisions, to favour potential candidates who don't compete with one's own particular strengths.


Social Desirability Bias

The tendency to over-report socially desirable characteristics or behaviours in one self and under-report socially undesirable characteristics or behaviours.


Superiority Bias

Overestimating one's desirable qualities, and underestimating undesirable qualities, relative to other people.


Trait Ascription Bias

The tendency for people to view themselves as relatively variable in terms of personality, behavior, and mood while viewing others as much more predictable.


Tragedy of the Commons

Denotes a situation where individuals acting independently and rationally according to each's self-interest behave contrary to the best interests of the whole group by depleting some common resource.


Ultimate Attribution Error

Similar to the fundamental attribution error, in this error a person is likely to make an internal attribution to an entire group instead of the individuals within the group.