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Availability heuristic

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The availability heuristic, also known as availability bias, is a mental shortcut that relies on immediate examples that come to a given person's mind when evaluating a specific topic, concept, method or decision. As humans, our ability to make the right decisions is limited by the many constraints of our mind. One such constraint is the availability bias — our tendency to make judgments based on previous experiences that are easily recalled. When some piece of information is easily brought to mind, we incorrectly assume that it’s an accurate reflection of reality. This cognitive bias  often leads to the illusion of rational thinking and, ultimately, to bad decisions.
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The availability heuristic operates on the notion that if something can be recalled, it must be important, or at least more important than alternative solutions which are not as readily recalled. Subsequently, under the availability heuristic, people tend to heavily weigh their judgments toward more recent information, making new opinions biased toward that latest news.

The availability of consequences associated with an action is positively related to perceptions of the magnitude of the consequences of that action.

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In other words, the easier it is to recall the consequences of something, the greater those consequences are often perceived to be.

Most notably, people often rely on the content of their recall if its implications are not called into question by the difficulty that they experience in bringing the relevant material to mind.

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