Choice-Supportive Bias

Choice-Supportive Bias is the tendency to remember our choices as better than they actually were, because we tend to over attribute positive features to options we chose and negative features to options not chosen.

Sometimes, people think that “I chose this option so it must have been the better option”. As a result, we feel good about ourselves and our choices and have less regret for bad decisions. It is part of Cognitive science and is a distinct cognitive bias that occurs once a decision is made. For example, if a person chooses option A instead of option B, they are likely to ignore or downplay the faults of option A while amplifying or subscribing new negative faults to option B. Conversely, they are also likely to notice and amplify the advantages of option A and not notice or de-emphasize those of option B.

One useful counter-measure is to list the merits of your thoughts regarding the stimuli without using any past data or experience as justification. What are the real merits of the options in front of me – not just the ones that I’d prefer to be in place?

For a full list of the most common biases, click here.