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The First-Conclusion Bias: How Our Minds Trick Us into Irrational Decision-Making


In the complex landscape of decision-making, our minds often rely on mental shortcuts known as cognitive biases. These biases, while serving as convenient tools for processing information, can inadvertently lead us astray. One such cognitive bias that frequently affects our judgment is the First-Conclusion Bias. This blog post aims to shed light on this psychological phenomenon, exploring its relevance in decision-making processes and its prevalence in our daily lives.

Defining First-Conclusion Bias

The First-Conclusion Bias, also known as the Anchoring Bias or Anchoring Effect, refers to our tendency to rely heavily on the first piece of information we encounter when making decisions. This initial information acts as an “anchor,” influencing subsequent judgments and evaluations. Even when presented with more evidence or data, we often remain anchored to our initial conclusion, failing to fully adjust our beliefs or perspectives.

The Relevance of First-Conclusion Bias in Decision-Making

First-Conclusion Bias has significant implications for decision-making processes across various domains. By anchoring ourselves to initial ideas or options, we may overlook crucial information, limit our exploration of alternatives, and make irrational choices contrary to our best interests. Understanding this bias is crucial, as it can help us recognize and mitigate its influence in our decision-making endeavors.

Examples of First-Conclusion Bias

  1. Personal Life Decisions: Imagine you are considering purchasing a new car. Upon researching, you come across a review that initially highlights a few flaws in the model you desire. Despite discovering more favorable reviews afterward, you remain anchored to the negative aspects mentioned initially. Consequently, you may dismiss the overwhelmingly positive aspects of the car and ultimately make a suboptimal purchasing decision.
  2. Business Scenarios: In a negotiation, the first offer made often serves as an anchor that significantly influences the final outcome. If a seller proposes a high initial price, buyers may struggle to deviate from this anchor, even if more reasonable prices are subsequently presented. This bias can result in missed opportunities for both parties to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
  3. Public Policy-Making: Politicians and policymakers often present their proposals with strong initial arguments and claims. These assertions, while potentially flawed or incomplete, can anchor public opinion and hinder objective evaluation of alternative policies. As a result, decisions impacting the welfare of the population may be influenced by the first conclusions presented rather than thorough analysis and evidence.

Mental Biases Contributing to First-Conclusion Bias

First-Conclusion Bias is closely linked to other cognitive biases, such as Confirmation Bias and Availability Heuristic. Confirmation Bias predisposes us to favor information that supports our existing beliefs, making it challenging to objectively evaluate subsequent evidence. Availability Heuristic, on the other hand, relies on immediate examples or vivid instances that come to mind, shaping our subsequent judgments. These biases strengthen the grip of the anchor, reinforcing our initial conclusions and hindering rational decision-making.

Psychological Underpinnings and Interplay

First-Conclusion Bias is rooted in several psychological factors. Our minds naturally seek cognitive closure and tend to form initial judgments quickly to reduce uncertainty. Additionally, the human mind is subject to the primacy effect, whereby information encountered early carries greater weight in subsequent processing. These innate tendencies, coupled with the influence of cultural and social factors, amplify the prevalence and impact of First-Conclusion Bias in our lives.

Identifying and Avoiding First-Conclusion Bias

  1. Awareness: Recognizing the presence of First-Conclusion Bias is the first step towards overcoming it. Be mindful of the potential influence of initial information or ideas on subsequent decisions and remain open to reevaluating your conclusions.
  2. Seek Diverse Perspectives: Actively seek out diverse sources of information, opinions, and alternatives before settling on a decision. Expanding your knowledge and considering different viewpoints can help challenge the influence of the initial anchor.
  3. Delay Judgment: Resist the impulse to jump to conclusions hastily. Allow yourself time to gather more information, conduct further research, and consider alternative possibilities. Taking a step back can help break the grip of the anchor and facilitate more objective decision-making.
  4. Use Decision-Making Tools: Employ decision-making frameworks, such as cost-benefit analysis or scenario planning, to assess choices systematically. These tools provide a structured approach, enabling you to consider multiple factors and reduce the reliance on initial anchors.


The First-Conclusion Bias is a pervasive cognitive bias that affects our decision-making processes. By understanding this phenomenon, we can strive for more rational and informed choices. The examples discussed in this blog post illustrate how individuals and groups often fall prey to this bias, making decisions contrary to their best interests. By being aware of the mental biases contributing to First-Conclusion Bias and adopting practical strategies to mitigate its effects, we can enhance our decision-making abilities and navigate the complexities of life with greater clarity and objectivity.

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