5 Daily Errors of the Brain

One of the most common everyday brain errors is to think that information that matches what we previously think is more true. This bias, and similar ones, prevent us from being objective in our judgments about reality.


There are several daily brain errors that go unnoticed by most of us. They are called cognitive biases and obey an inaccurate processing of the information that reality gives us.

The reason for these daily errors of the brain to arise is that the human being needs to respond quickly to the stimuli he receives. For that reason, the brain uses the simplest way to interpret the information that is provided to it. This path does not always lead to a valid conclusion.

What we do is put a kind of filters between the information and the interpretation of it. We make it easy for us, although inaccurate from the point of view of reason. It is not voluntary, but it operates automatically. Then we share five of those daily brain errors we all ever incur.

“Maybe it’s the simplicity of the matter that leads us to error.”

-Edgar Allan Poe-

1. Valid ideas that resemble ours

This is one of the most frequent daily brain errors. Technically it is called a confirmation bias and consists in that, without realizing it, we tend to filter the information in a way that confirms what we think or feel previously.

In other words, we think that everything that confirms what we think or feel beforehand is true and our attention is selective to it. If any information or information appears that contradicts it, we automatically tend to reject it. Typically, we label it as “false”, without subjecting it to a thorough evaluation.

2. Deal with irremediable situations

Following the logic, everything that has no solution or that is irremediable should leave our cajón of concerns once accepted this nature. Why spend time and energy on it if it is impossible to solve or change it. However, human beings do not usually follow this simple logic.

Frequently, our mind deals with the impossible. We tend to give it a lot of importance, because that is part of our evolutionary line. What is lost or what we can not achieve calls our attention more because we assume it as something that we must protect ourselves from.

3. Self-deception with unnecessary purchases

Of course it is a mistake to make unnecessary purchases, compulsively. However, from the point of view of the daily errors of the brain, the important thing is not the purchase itself, but the whole mental process that we carry out after carrying it out. It is a kind of emotional hangover that leads us to build a cognitive bias.

A lot of people feel guilty after spending money on something they do not need. To avoid this unpleasant state, they spend an important amount of time preparing a recipe for reasons that sustain the idea that what is unnecessary is necessary. The goal is to convince ourselves of this and thus eliminate remorse.

4. Compare the incomparable, one of the daily errors of the brain

This is one of those everyday brain errors that advertising knows and uses. Suppose you see a label in which you compare two prices. Something like “Before 100 euros, today at 79 euros”. It immediately catches your attention and you process it as a very favorable opportunity that is being presented to you. Given this mental step, you are more likely to end up buying. Who likes to miss opportunities?

The point is that we rarely take the trouble to corroborate the information. In truth before that it cost 100 euros and today it went down in price? In this case, our brain simply gets carried away by the evaluation that makes a favorable comparison. This comparison leads to making decisions that gratify, even if they are based on something that is not really true.

5. Believe in the opposite to reassure us

According to several studies carried out by Eduard Punset, professor of Science, technology and society at the Universitat Ramon Llull, the brain tends to change the perception we have of reality when that reality torments us in a significant way. The striking thing is that it tends to lead us to believe the opposite, to conjure up the anxiety that something can wake us up.

The most classic example of this is the denial of death.

Many can not tolerate the idea of disappearing forever. Therefore, regardless of religious beliefs, they have the conviction that life extends beyond death. Although there is no evidence to support this, they refuse to think otherwise.

These are just some examples of the daily errors of the brain, because there are many more. Although our mind has an infinite capacity, it also tends to take shortcuts to simplify things and agilely build an answer to reality. It is not enough that from time to time we evaluate how objective our perceptions are.