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Attentional Bias: Definition, Examples and Effects

Attentional Bias is a cognitive phenomenon that occurs when our attention is drawn to certain stimuli over others. It is a form of selective attention that can influence our behavior and decision-making. In this blog post, we will explore the definition, examples, and effects of attentional bias.


Definition: Attentional bias is the tendency to focus on certain stimuli over others. It is a form of selective attention that can be influenced by our beliefs, emotions, and experiences. Attentional bias can be either conscious or unconscious, and it can affect our behavior and decision-making.


Examples: Attentional bias can be seen in everyday life. For example, if you are looking for a new car, you may be more likely to focus on the features of the cars that you like, rather than the features of the cars that you don’t like. Another example is when you are looking for a job, you may be more likely to focus on the job postings that match your skills and interests, rather than the job postings that don’t.


Effects: Attentional bias can have both positive and negative effects. On the positive side, it can help us to focus on the things that are important to us and make better decisions. On the negative side, it can lead to tunnel vision and cause us to overlook important information. Additionally, attentional bias can lead to confirmation bias, where we only pay attention to information that confirms our existing beliefs.


Overall, attentional bias is an important cognitive phenomenon that can influence our behavior and decision-making. It is important to be aware of our attentional bias and to try to be open to new information and perspectives.


Do you want to expand your knowledge on this topic? Read our full in-depth article on cognitive biases.


Do you have extra 15 minutes today? Takeour fun and interactive quiz to learn which of 16 reasoning styles you use, your overall level of rationality, and what you can do now to improve your rationality skills.

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