The Hierarchy Of Human Cognitive Biases

I am not really sure that I should talk about theses biases as a hierarchy, because I think that the different cognitive biases we rely upon to make our multitudinous decisions every day is actually a map: an unordered but weighted network of relations. But if we express them as a spectrum from the most fundamental and physical, to the most social, to the most abstract, we end up with a hierarchy of increasing complexity.


    1) COGNITIVE BIASES (biological)

    2) TIME PREFERENCES and TIME BIASES (consequences of biology and experience or learning)

    3) SENTIMENTS (or RESIDUES) ( biological ) and their numerous DERIVATIONS (irrational justifications of biology)

    5) NARRATIVE / RELIGIOUS / MYTHICAL / MORAL, ETHICAL, and MANNER BIASES (institutional social behaviors)

    4) CULTURAL BIASES (and CLASS BIASES within each culture) (accidental metaphysical biases)

    6) METHODOLOGICAL BIASES (or CALCULATIVE BIASES) (the result of categorical problem solving)

All these cognitive functions work with us every day, and the only tools that we have to manage them with are LAW, CREDIT POLICY, and PUBLIC RHETORIC. All of which are weak pressures against the cognitive tidal wave of cognitive biases.

If I were not such a busy man I would hire a dozen grad students to put some math together on this for me.

I hope this is useful to someone other than me. It is the catalog of expressions of the fractal mathematics of human behavior.

Curt Doolittle.

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