© Bite Size Psych
When we walk through life, making our daily decisions — small or large — we probably don't realize how many things are clouding our objective judgment. These are typically called cognitive biases, or a way of thinking that is illogical or irrational, preventing us from getting the full picture.

There's a huge list of cognitive biases that social psychologists have defined, but a new Bite Size Psych video focuses on the top four: self-serving bias, cognitive fluency, sunk cost fallacy, and confirmation bias. These biases can impact the way we think, view ourselves, and stay in relationships or jobs — for better or worse, but usually the latter.

Self-serving bias sounds like what it is: it's a person's tendency to believe that any life successes can be attributed to their own talents and inherent value, while any failures are the consequence of external factors that we can't control. While many times this is the case, it's a biased way of preserving our own self-esteem. Learning to recognize this and be self-aware, however, will provide us with a good basis to take initiative and change our negative patterns.

Cognitive fluency is second, and it's the notion that easier ideas are considered more "true." For example, words that rhyme such as "Woes unite foes" appear more "true" to people than the phrase "Woes unite enemies," according to a study. Just because things appear new, shiny, and easy (such as plenty of products that are marketed that way) doesn't mean they're best for you.

Some other common types of cognitive biases include anchoring — or the tendency to cling too much to one piece of information while ignoring other contradictory information. There's the bandwagon effect, or a person's tendency to do or think things solely because a lot of other people are doing them. There's even something called the cheerleader effect, or the bias that an individual looks more pleasing and attractive in a group setting than they do standing alone. And perhaps the most twisted one is the blind spot bias, which involves people believing that they're not biased at all when in reality, we all are to some extent.