Someone asked me recently “Hey Tony, what’s the best entry on Wikipedia?” though he was probably joking, without hesitation I said “Cognitive Bias”. He had a look and agreed with me.
So as a reminder to self, and a treat to anyone who reads this, go look at the list of Cognitive Bias on Wikipedia. It has all the failings of human nature gathered together in one Wiki entry.
A cognitive bias is a pattern of deviation in judgment that occurs in particular situations (see also cognitive distortion and the lists of thinking-related topics). Implicit in the concept of a "pattern of deviation" is a standard of comparison; this may be the judgment of people outside those particular situations, or may be a set of independently verifiable facts. The existence of some of these cognitive biases has been verified empirically in the field of psychology.
Cognitive biases are instances of evolved mental behaviour. Some are presumably adaptive, for example, because they lead to more effective actions or enable faster decisions. Others presumably result from a lack of appropriate mental mechanisms, or from the misapplication of a mechanism that is adaptive under different circumstances.
Thanks Johnnie Moore