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  • Writer's pictureSourav Dhar

15 Types of Bias to be Careful of in UX Research: Part 1

Updated: Mar 14, 2023


Personal views, past experiences, and cultural norms can all contribute to the development of biases, which are systematic errors in judgement and decision-making. Inaccurate, unjust, or incomplete judgements or judgements may be made when biases influence how we take in and process information. Confirmation bias occurs when we look for evidence that supports our existing beliefs; availability bias occurs when we place too much weight on information that is easily accessible; and attribution bias occurs when we attribute the actions of others to their character or personality rather than to external factors.

We all have our biases, and overcoming these ingrained tendencies in human cognition can be challenging. But, in disciplines like UX research, where our decisions can significantly affect the user experience, acknowledging and removing biases is especially vital. We can attempt to make more objective and well-informed decisions if we are cognizant of our inherent biases and take measures to mitigate their influence.

Different types of Biases

1. Confirmation bias occurs when a researcher only seeks out information that confirms their preexisting beliefs or hypotheses, while ignoring or discounting information that contradicts their assumptions.

2. 👍 False-consensus bias: The tendency to see your own opinions and behaviors as common while viewing other thoughts and behaviors as uncommon.

3. 📆 Recency bias: The tendency to attribute greater importance to recent events than historical ones.

4. 📌 Primacy bias: The tendency to emphasize your first impressions more than any information you encounter later on.

5. ⚓️ Anchoring bias: The tendency to rely too much on preexisting reference points or "anchors" when making decisions.

6. 📈 Peak-end bias: The tendency to place greater emphasis on intense emotional moments (peaks) and the final moments (end) of an experience.

7. 🙈 Implicit bias: A negative judgment, prejudice, or stereotype-confirming attitude that influences your decisions but that you don't consciously recognize.

8. 👀 Hindsight bias: The tendency to believe that past events were more easily predictable than they were.

9. 👯‍♀️ Social desirability bias: The tendency to answer questions in a way that will make you look good to others, i.e., over-reporting "good" behavior and under-reporting "bad" behavior.

10. 📝 Serial position bias: The tendency to remember the first and last items in a list better than those in the middle.

11. 🔗 Clustering illusion bias: The tendency to find false patterns and trends in random information when no such patterns exist.

12. 🖼️ Framing bias: The tendency to make decisions based on how the information is presented or "framed" instead of the data itself.

13. 🚢 Sunk-cost bias: The tendency to continue a behavior if you've invested time, effort, and money, even if the current costs outweigh the benefits.

14. 🫥 Transparency bias: The tendency to overestimate how well other people understand your internal thoughts and feelings, or to overestimate how well you understand other people's thoughts and feelings.

15. 👋 Fundamental attribution bias: The tendency to attribute someone's behavior to their character or personality while downplaying the influence of situational and environmental factors.

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