An important thought bias: availability heuristic

31 Jan 2018

There’s a widespread tendency to attribute more importance to certain issues than to others just because of how easy it is to remember instances of them. This has very important consequences for advocacy in defense of sentient beings. Our activism should be focused on achieving the best possible results. However, we often fail to do so because we focus on trying to make a difference for those beings we can more easily think of, or because we engage in the courses of action we can think of more easily.

This happens, as stated above, as we tend to give more importance to what we can more easily remember, even when this is not really what is actually more important. This is an important though often overlooked bias that has been referred to as “availability heuristic.” Because of the seriousness of its effects on animal activism, we have published a new article that explains this bias and why we should try to eliminate it. You can read it here:

Availability heuristic: when our memory fails animals

This text complements others we have published before regarding how cognitive biases can affect the way we evaluate the importance of what happens or what may happen to sentient beings and our estimations of how to help them. Our articles about scope insensitivity and motivated reasoning and confirmation bias represent two such examples. We will publish more articles about other biases during this year.