Cognitive Bias User Experience (UX) topic overview/definition

Cognitive Bias: Concept Definition

Cognitive bias is an umbrella term that refers to the systematic ways in which the context and framing of information influence individuals’ judgment and decision making. There are many kinds of cognitive biases that influence individuals differently, but their common characteristic is that they lead to judgement and decision making that deviates from rational objectivity.

In some cases, cognitive biases make our thinking and decision-making faster and more efficient, because we do not consider all available information. In other cases, however, cognitive biases can lead to errors for the exact same reason. An example is confirmation bias, where we tend to favour information that reinforces or confirms our pre-existing beliefs. For instance, if we believe that planes are dangerous, a handful of stories about plane crashes tend to be more memorable than millions of stories about safe, successful flights.

Researchers Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman did a number of studies on cognitive bias and found that framing identical information differently (i.e. presenting the same information differently) can lead to opposing decisions being made. This means that cognitive biases play an important role in information design, because they influence users’ or customers’ decision-making process. How we present information on webpages and user interfaces can affect how likely users are to perform certain actions, like purchasing a product.

For your convenience, we’ve collected all UX literature that deals with Cognitive Bias. Here’s the full list: