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Cognitive biases

cognitive biases

Heuristics are recognized conceptual tools that help draw conclusions from past experience. They are often used when a problem needs to be solved or a lesson learned from an experience that can be used later. Market research based on interdisciplinary perspectives such as behavioral economics and economic psychology has made a difference in the marketing of products and services as they have increased the understanding of what influences the choices and decision-making of individuals.


Research has, for example, revealed that numerical information unrelated to a product or service can have an effect there. It has been shown that if a consumer is influenced by a high number before making a purchase, he is willing to pay a higher price, and the same is true if he is influenced by a low number, he is willing to pay a lower price. Such an influence is called anchoring, but it is one of the many simplifying rules that people rely on or are influenced by when faced with choices or decision-making. They act as priming on the mind in such a way that it takes the information that has been presented and uses it to help with the decision-making. The main characteristic of priming is that they are meaningful to individuals, but they usually do not realize that they are under their influence.

These simplification rules can be useful to us in various situations, such as when we have to solve urgent problems or make a decision under pressure, but they can also deceive us and create subjective errors if we are not aware of their existence. Here are some examples of how simplification rules and cognitive biases unconsciously influence the attitudes and evaluations of the contributions of different individuals.

Versa Vottun offers a course on Cognitive biases and logical fallacies that often occur when we make decisions under pressure.

It examines, among other things, how simplification rules, which tend to benefit us in play and work, can turn into subjective errors that unconsciously color our attitudes and decision-making. The course is intended to increase the skills and abilities of managers who are involved in the operation of the management systems or may affect their ability to achieve the goals they are intended to achieve

The planning fallacy:

Everyone is probably familiar with the planning fallacy, but it consists in the fact that we always assume the best possible outcome when we are estimating time and resources for a project, whether it is small projects that come up in everyday life such as painting a single room or large-scale professional projects such as building an opera house.The construction of the Sydney Opera House is often cited as an example of such a fallacy, but its construction time was ten years ahead of schedule and the cost went from $7 million to $102 million. Daniel Khaneman (Thinking fast and Slow, 2012) says the Optimism fallacy is the main driver for this error.​

Outsourcing household chores:

There has been an increase in the fact that household tasks, which are classified as men's tasks (such as car maintenance and repairs), are outsourced, while women's tasks (such as washing, cooking and cleaning) are not outsourced as much. Childcare is the only thing that has been purposefully outsourced, as it is a fundamental prerequisite for women to get out to work, everything else can wait until the end of the working day. There is a possible conceptual error that causes typical women's jobs in the job market to be seen as a certain extension of motherhood (teaching at preschool level, laundry, cooking, care, etc.) and since motherhood is unpaid work, this can explain the reason that attitudes towards those jobs contribute to low wages. Such a bias could be one of the factors that drives beliefs about the value of work based on underlying beliefs about gender roles in and out of the home.


The bias appears, for example, in the way that typical men's jobs and women's jobs, which are in fact of equal value, are not valued equally, but men's contribution is given more weight. An example of this would be that an employee on an outside ground gets paid a premium for working outside in heat/cold and even a dirty environment, while an employee in a laundry facility does not get paid a premium for the same factors even though the person concerned works in high heat vapors and regularly handles dirty and smelly laundry.

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