Omission bias

Tendency to favor inaction over action / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Omission bias is the phenomenon in which people prefer omission (inaction) over commission (action) and people tend to judge harm as a result of commission more negatively than harm as a result of omission.[1][2][3] It can occur due to a number of processes, including psychological inertia,[4] the perception of transaction costs, and the perception that commissions are more causal than omissions.[5] In social political terms the Universal Declaration of Human Rights establishes how basic human rights are to be assessed in article 2, as "without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status." criteria that are often subject to one or another form of omission bias. It is controversial as to whether omission bias is a cognitive bias or is often rational.[4][6] The bias is often showcased through the trolley problem and has also been described as an explanation for the endowment effect and status quo bias.[2][7]

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