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Recency Bias: Definition, Examples and Effects

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

Recency bias is a cognitive bias that causes people to give more weight to recent events or information than to older events or information. It is a form of cognitive bias that can lead to inaccurate decision-making and can be seen in many aspects of life.


Examples:

  • When someone is asked to recall a list of items, they are more likely to remember the items at the end of the list than the items at the beginning.

  • When someone is asked to recall a list of experiences, they are more likely to remember the experiences that happened more recently than the experiences that happened further in the past.


Effects:

Recency bias can lead to suboptimal decision-making because people are more likely to give more weight to recent events or information than to older events or information. This can lead to people making decisions based on incomplete or inaccurate information.


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? Take our 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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