Contributed Articles

How Cognitive Biases Influence Software Development

What I if told you

…You read that line wrong?

That’s right, take a closer look.

Is this simply an optical illusion? What’s happening in our minds when we fall for these tricks? We breeze past mistakes in text, like the the example above, yet we understand perfectly what the sentence means.

We often take mental shortcuts, or heuristics, that can ease intellectual burden and allow us to make decisions quickly and efficiently. Heuristics often lead to cognitive biases, which can in turn lead to errors in judgement — something we want to avoid, especially when building and testing software.