Availability heuristic is a cognitive bias that refers to the tendency for people to estimate the likelihood of an event based on how easily examples of it come to mind. This bias can lead people to overestimate the probability of events that are easy to recall and underestimate the probability of events that are difficult to recall.
One example of the availability heuristic at work is the “gambler’s fallacy,” which is the belief that a random event is more likely to occur if it has not occurred in a while. This belief is based on the availability heuristic, as people tend to overestimate the probability of an event occurring if they cannot easily recall similar events occurring in the past.
The availability heuristic can also lead people to overestimate the likelihood of rare events, such as plane crashes or shark attacks, because these events are often covered heavily in the media and are therefore more easily available in memory. This can lead people to make irrational decisions, such as avoiding flying because they believe it is more dangerous than other modes of transportation.
The framing effect is a cognitive bias that refers to the way in which the presentation of information can influence decision making. The framing effect occurs when people make different decisions based on how the same information is presented to them.
For example, consider a person who is deciding whether to undergo a medical procedure. If the procedure is described as having a 90% success rate, they may be more likely to undergo it than if it is described as having a 10% failure rate. The information is the same in both cases, but the way it is presented (as a success rate or a failure rate) can influence the decision.
The framing effect can also occur when people are presented with options that are framed as losses or gains. For example, consider a person who is deciding whether to invest in a new business venture. If the potential returns are described as a gain (e.g., “you could earn an additional $50,000 per year”), they may be more likely to invest than if the same potential returns are described as a loss (e.g., “you could lose $50,000 per year if you don’t invest”).
Both the availability heuristic and the framing effect can lead to irrational decision making, as people may be influenced by factors that have nothing to do with the actual probabilities or risks involved. To mitigate these biases, it is important to carefully consider all of the available information and to try to present it in a way that is objective and unbiased. It can also be helpful to seek out diverse perspectives and to seek out feedback from others to ensure that all relevant factors are taken into account.