Survivorship Bias


Definition: Survivorship Bias is the human tendency to focus only on survivors instead of everyone (including those who did not survive). This bias tends to focus our attention on winners and not losers, prosperous and successful, but not on a thousand others who worked hard but failed. Survivorship bias rules our lives in the way we focus our attention on successful CEOs, athletes, artists, and entrepreneurs for advice on how to live life and become successful. Very often, success is made more visible than failure, thus hiding it from plain sight. It leads us to overestimate our chance of succeeding as failures of the unsuccessful ones are ignored and conveniently forgotten.


More on individual decision making: Anchoring Bias, Bayesian Theory, Black Swan Theory, Bounded Rationality, Cognitive Bias, more...


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