How cognitive biases influence software development

  • Anchoring effect (prior information used to make a decision that really should not depend on this given information): counter it by visualizing relevant data instead of relying on an anchor.
  • It is a logical fallacy to assume chronology (X came before Y) indicates causality (Y happened because of X).
  • Avoid confirmation bias by focusing more on what can go wrong than on what you are sure is right.
  • Pre-empt inattentional blindness by using checklists.
  • Authority bias: Just because someone trustworthy puts out a piece of information, does not mean you need to act on it or use it. The ‘authority’ can also be a specification document, or even yourself. Question all assumptions.

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