- Adaptive bias
Adaptive bias is the idea that the
human brainhas evolved to reasonadaptively, rather than truthfully or even rationally, and that cognitive biasmay have evolved as a mechanism to reduce the overall cost of cognitive errors as opposed to merely reducing the number of cognitive errors, when faced with making a decision under conditions of uncertainty.
Error Management Theory
According to Error Management Theory, when making decisions under conditions of uncertainty, two kinds of errors need to be taken into account - "
false positives", i.e. deciding that a risk or benefit exists when it does not, and " false negatives", i.e. failing to notice a risk or benefit that exists. False positives are also commonly called "Type 1 errors", and false negatives are called "Type 2 errors".
Where the cost or impact of a type 1 error is much greater than the cost of a type 2 error (e.g. the water is safe to drink), it can be worthwhile to bias the decision making system towards making fewer type 1 errors, i.e. making it less likely to conclude that a particular situation exists. This by definition would also increase the number of type 2 errors. Conversely, where a false positive is much less costly than a false negative (blood tests, smoke detectors), it makes sense to bias the system towards maximising the probability that a particular (very costly) situation will be recognised, even if this often leads to the (relatively un-costly) event of noticing something that is not actually there. This situation is exhibited in modern airport screening -- maximizing the probably of preventing a high cost terrorist event results in frequent, low-cost screening hassles for harmless travelers who represent a minimal threat.
Martie G. Haselton and David M. Buss (2003) state that cognitive bias can be expected to have developed in humans for cognitive tasks where:
* Decision making is complicated by a significant signal-detection problem (i.e. when there is uncertainty)
* The solution to the particular kind of decision making problem has had a recurrent effect on survival and fitness throughout evolutionary history.
* The costs of a "false positive" or "false negative" error dramatically outweighs the cost of the alternative type of error
The Costly Information Hypothesis
The costly information hypothesis is used to explore how adaptive biases relate to cultural evolution within the field of
dual inheritance theory. The focus is on the evolutionary trade-offs in cost between individual learning, (e.g., operant conditioning) and social learning. If more accurate information that could be acquired through individual learning is too costly, evolution may favor learning mechinisms that, in turn, are biased towards less costly, (though potentially less accurate), information via social learning.
* Guided variation & biased transmission - Adaptive biases in
dual inheritance theory
* Haselton, M.G., Nettle, D. & Andrews, P.W. (2005). The evolution of cognitive bias. In D. M. Buss (Ed.), "Handbook of evolutionary psychology" (pp. 724-746). Hoboken: Wiley. [http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/comm/haselton/webdocs/handbookevpsych.pdf Full text]
* Haselton, M.G. & Buss, D.M. (2003). Biases in Social Judgment: Design Flaws or Design Features? In J. Forgas, K. Williams, & B. von Hippel (Eds.), "Responding to the social world: Implicit and explicit processes in social judgments and decisions". New York, NY: Cambridge. [http://www.sscnet.ucla.edu/comm/haselton/webdocs/designflaws.pdf Full text]
* Henrich, J. & McElreath, R. (2007). Dual Inheritance Theory: The evolution of human cultural capacities and cultural evolution. In R. Dunbar and L. Barrett, (Eds.), "Oxford Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology," Ch. 38. Oxford: Oxford Univ Press. [http://arbeit.ucdavis.edu/mcelreath/files/Henrich%20and%20McElreath%20final.pdf Full text]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
BIAS — • Burroughs Intergrated Adaptive Routing System • Battlefield Illumination Airborne System (Shed Light) ( > IEEE Standard Dictionary ) … Acronyms
BIAS —  Burroughs Intergrated Adaptive Routing System  Battlefield Illumination Airborne System (Shed Light) ( > IEEE Standard Dictionary ) … Acronyms von A bis Z
Cognitive bias — For an article about the conceptual problems of the mind see Cognitive closure (philosophy). Psychology … Wikipedia
Confirmation bias — (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency for people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses regardless of whether the information is true.[Note 1] As a result, people gather evidence and recall … Wikipedia
Multivariate adaptive regression splines — (MARS) is a form of regression analysis introduced by Jerome Friedman in 1991. It is a non parametric regression technique and can be seen as an extension of linear models that automatically models non linearities and interactions. The term… … Wikipedia
Complex adaptive system — Complex adaptive systems are special cases of complex systems. They are complex in that they are dynamic networks of interactions and relationships not aggregations of static entities. They are adaptive in that their individual and collective… … Wikipedia
Optimism bias — is the demonstrated systematic tendency for people to be overly optimistic about the outcome of planned actions. This includes over estimating the likelihood of positive events and under estimating the likelihood of negative events. Along with… … Wikipedia
Dual inheritance theory — (DIT), also known as gene culture coevolution, was developed in the late 1970s and early 1980s to explain how human behavior is a product of two different and interacting evolutionary processes: genetic evolution and cultural evolution. DIT is a… … Wikipedia
List of cognitive biases — A cognitive bias is a pattern of poor judgment, often triggered by a particular situation. Identifying poor judgment, or more precisely, a deviation in judgment, requires a standard for comparison, i.e. good judgment . In scientific… … Wikipedia
Psychological adaptation — A psychological adaptation, also called an Evolved psychological mechanism or EPM, is an aspect of a human or other animal s psychology that is the result of evolutionary pressures. It could serve a specific purpose, have served a purpose in the… … Wikipedia