The Pseudocertainty Effect

The Pseudocertainty Effect is the tendency for people to perceive an outcome as certain while it is actually uncertain. There can be many pressures on us to show a sense of certainty, especially if people rely on us for their sense of security. As with all the other heuristics and biases, this isn’t right or wrong – unless, of course, there’s a risk of negative consequences.

One useful counter-measure is to ask: If someone other than me was to assess my level of certainty, how similar would their assessment be to mine? If it would vary, why would that be the case? Am I over-assessing the certainty here and if so, what are the potential consequences?

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